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Stay safe and happy The key to looking after yourself and others in difficult times


Home sweet home Inspiring ideas to keep your family entertained Eat well to keep well Food advice from local experts Get ready to go Plan a break for when restrictions are lifted Think positive Make sure you’re fighting fit – physically and mentally

We discover the latest laugh-out-loud reads ●

Enter our fab photo competition!

WIN A whole year’s subscription to your favourite lifestyle magazine! Turn to page 97


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Visit our award winning showrooms for inspirational ideas and advice for the most important rooms in your home. Displaying quality items from exclusive brands you can trust, all at competitive prices and with help from our experienced team.

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WELCOME, DEAR READER… Managing Director Dan Bromage Editor Kate Speedie Art Editor Tom Sullivan Chief Subeditor Jo Williams Advertising Design Sarah Norman Editorial Designers Ella Knight Meryl McIntosh Subeditor Chris Miller Staff Writers Eluned Watson Helen Gordon Adele Barry Sales & Marketing Pauline Jones Tess Howes Maria Eales Distribution Manager Paul Howard Finance & Accounts David Kynaston Nicky Kynaston Jane Osman Contributors

John Hargreaves, Gloria Mans, Catherine Buckley, P Parker, Clive Williams, John Stubbs, Helen Cooke, Pip Gale, Lizzie Deery, Graham Tinsley, Deborah Law, Jennifer McKinney


he May/June edition of Shire is usually when we start looking forward to summer, celebrating the great outdoors, investigating great places to go and the amazing events – both indoors and outdoors – across this fantastic region. Instead, at the time of writing, the country is in lockdown, and we’re surrounded by uncertainty as the coronavirus pandemic continues to have an impact on almost every aspect of our lives. At a time when communicating with each other is more important than ever, we wanted to be here for our readers. Shire’s staff have all been able to work remotely to put together this issue, and we’re keenly aware that the supermarkets where many readers pick up the magazine are among the few retailers still open. This crisis isn’t something anyone should face alone. We need to pull together and to stay in contact with others. And here at Shire, that’s pretty much what we do best – we talk to you, our readers. So we hope you find something in these pages that helps you through this difficult period, gives you inspiration for ways to spend your time or simply prompts a much-needed smile. Please bear in mind that event organisers and venues are making changes constantly, so check directly with them before making any plans. And last but not least, we would encourage you to support our advertisers. These companies are a huge part of what makes this region special, but they’re also facing a challenging time. Please use their services or go to their websites and find out more. Most of all, please stay home and stay well. IN THIS ISSUE Going, going, scone! Shire’s new chef explains why he loves the traditional sweet snack on page 42

Email Shire magazine

Shire Magazine PO Box 276 Oswestry Shropshire SY10 1FR Tel: 01691 661270

Home comforts Our guide to staying safe, well and free from stress while you’re stuck indoors starts on page 24

SUBSCRIPTION RATES ONE YEAR – £19.95 TWO YEARS – £34.95 Print ISSN 2514-3913 Online ISSN 2514-3921 SHIRE MAGAZINE is published bi-monthly by Superstar Publishing Ltd. Every effort is made to ensure that the information and advice contained in these articles is correct and appropriate, but no liability or responsibility for loss or damage to any person acting or refraining from action in reliance on or as a result of anything omitted from such articles can be, or is accepted by, the authors, the publishers, their employees or any other persons connected with Superstar Publishing Ltd. Views expressed by contributors to Shire magazine are not necessarily those of the magazine or of Superstar Publishing Ltd and should be attributed to the authors concerned. Save as expressively permitted by law no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written authority of the Publisher, acting for Shire magazine. Privacy Policy published online at © 2020 Superstar Publishing Ltd, all rights reserved. Registered Number: 10604188.

Get up and grow From the area’s finest gardens to your own green patch, get inspired on page 61

GET IN TOUCH! We want to hear from you…


Tell us about your upcoming events. Just remember that we work in advance, so 1st June is the deadline for events in our next issue, July/August 2020.


Share your reader stories. Have you got an extraordinary or exciting story to tell? We’d like to feature it in the next issue. Send us an email and don’t forget to include a picture or two as well.


We have lots of regulars readers can contribute to:

Reader photos Taken a great shot recently? Email your best effort and you might get picked! See page 74. Reader poems Do you like penning the odd line? So do we! Send us your poems – we’d love to include them on our poetry page. See page 93 for more. Your pets Is your pet the love of your life? Send a snap, along

A free copy of Shire delivered to your home! To help readers during this difficult time, if you’re having trouble getting to the supermarket and would prefer a copy delivered to you at home, please just send us an A4 SAE with £1.80 postage to Shire Magazine, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 1FR. We will send you the latest issue by return.

with their name and anything else you want to tell us. See page 70 for further details. Get social Follow, like and friend us on Facebook and Instagram to be the first in line for event updates, competitions and more. Visit our website online at and send submissions and information by email to

TURN TO PAGE 91 for our fantastic subscription offer! May/June 2020 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 3

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Lle i Ddarganfod … o adref! Ewch i’n gwefan a chwilio neu bori ein casgliadau ar-lein helaeth ac amrywiol:

• Llyfrau • Papurau Newydd • Llawysgrifau • Archifau

• Mapiau • Darluniau • Ffotograffau • Ffilm

Beth bynnag eich diddordebau – hanes teulu, gwaith academaidd neu bori trwy weithiau celf hardd, mae digonedd i ddysgu a difyrru.

A Place to Discover … from home! Visit our website and search or browse our numerous and varied online collections:

• Books • Newspapers • Manuscripts • Archives • Maps • Pictures • Photographs • Film

Whatever your interests - family history, academic work or simply just browsing through beautiful artworks, there’s plenty to inform and entertain. | | |

@NLWales | @LLGCymru




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Contents M AY/J U N E 2 02 0

PAG E 7 8 The eyes have it

6 What’s On Our events listing covers all the events you might be able to attend over the next few weeks. All events are subject to last-minute changes, so please read, make a plan and then check before you go! 22 Reviews Before lockdown, the Shire team was out and about reviewing and reporting from local shows and events

PAG E 7 7 Feel fabulous this summer

PAG E 6 6 Artistic pieces for your garden

23 Darren Day We talk to the TV and stage legend, who has starred in everything from dramas and documentaries to reality shows and is now heading for a new theatre role 24 Stay home with Shire Advice on how to stay home, stay safe and cope with the physical, mental and emotional challenges that the Covid-19 restrictions may bring 37 Holidays Look forward to sunnier days ahead when the local holiday parks and canal boat businesses will be ready to welcome you back

PAG E 2 3 We speak to Darren Day

PAG E 5 9 Make your home pretty in pink

41 Active A daily walk can keep us fit and boost our mood, so check out our suggestions for routes in this beautiful region 42 Food & Drink Great local produce and tasty recipes – plus our resident wine expert wades in on the cork vs screw top debate!

PAG E 6 Local events across the region, plus places to take some daily exercise

47 Homes & Interiors Make sure your surroundings are a great place to be with Shire’s design advice and style suggestions for the perfect pad 61 Gardening The venues taking part in this year’s National Garden Scheme, plus the best fruit and veg to grow at home 65 Green Living How local businesses and local authorities are doing their bit to help the environment

PAG E 2 4 Stay safe at home with Shire

part in the Breakfast Birdwatch, and your fantastic pet pictures 72 Arts & Crafts We talk to an illustrator whose doodles have opened up a new career, plus an upmarket take on the humble cracker and your amazing photographs 77 Women’s Fashion Add some sunshine to your wardrobe with these stunning outfits 78 Health & Beauty Top tips on how to cope with anxiety, the secrets of Ayurveda and how to keep your peepers in great shape 80 Men’s Fashion Great smart-casual pieces to take you through the seasons 82 Retirement How to beat loneliness during periods of isolation, plus the best ways to keep in touch with your dearest and not-so-nearest 85 Schools The latest news from the region’s educational establishments, including how they are adjusting to a new way of working during the pandemic 91 Subscribe to Shire! Take out an annual subscription to your favourite lifestyle magazine and ensure you get every issue delivered straight to your door! 92 Books & Poetry Meet a local writer whose tales of travel and adventure have filled the pages of his latest book, top tomes to keep you smiling, and your poetry 94 Letters To The Editor We hand over to you, our readers, to discover what you’ve got to say about the magazine and local events 95 Charities & Volunteering A look at the voluntary and charity organisations that do so much good for so many good causes across the area

66 Garden accessories The bit and pieces that can lift any landscaping theme

96 What’s In Your Stars? Check out what’s coming your way with our horoscope forecast by Gloria Mans.

69 Pets & Wildlife The latest from the region’s wildlife experts, how to take

97 Competition We have a very special prize for five lucky readers…

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6th June, Murder On The Llangollen Express, Llangollen Railway Step aboard and solve a murder while enjoying drinks from the bar. A pasty and sweet are provided, and there are prizes for solving the crime and best costume. 6.30pm-9pm. £26.

6th June, Snowdon Sunset Hike, Llanberis Hike up the highest mountain in Wales and witness the beautiful sunset. 6pm start in Llanberis, to reach the summit around 9pm. £35.

A special message from Shire In this issue we have made every effort to bring you the most up-to-date detail of the fabulous, fun activities you can do in the Shire region. Where possible we’ve included details of events you may have been looking forward to that have been postponed, as well as the new dates – if we have them! At the time of writing, these listed events are still scheduled to go ahead unless stated otherwise, but please check with the venue by phone or on the web before travelling for the most recent updates. And of course, when attending any of these great events in our wonderful local area, please ensure you are following government guidance to prevent the spread of Covid-19, even after the most severe restrictions are lifted.

13th June, Big Welsh Walk, Chirk Castle, nr Wrexham Stroll through the scenery of Chirk Castle and find hidden gems in the Clwydian Range, the Ceiriog Valley and beyond. There are routes for people of all levels of fitness, from first-timers to regular ramblers – dogs are also welcome.

19th June, Big Beat Summer Party, Ty Pawb, Wrexham An evening of live music from one of the UK’s leading cover bands, The Big Beat. There will be a variety of food and drink available as well as a late bar, cocktail bar and late DJ. Summer fancy dress is encouraged! 7pm-1am. £7.

20th June, Greyhound Momma’s Spring Craft Fayre, Ebenezer Chapel, Rhuddlan Browse the beautiful crafts, then treat yourself to refreshments from the tea bar. Tickets will be sold for the grand raffle, with prizes including hotel breaks and family days out. 10am-1.30pm. Free entry.

20th June, Neolithic Living History at Bryn Celli Ddu Solstice Festival, Llanfairpwllgwyngyll See demonstrations of pottery, flintknapping, bone and antler work, weaving and more, plus a rare chance to speak with experimental archaeologists. 11am-4pm. Free entry.

Famous faces at William Aston Hall An Audience With Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham, 21st May – POSTPONED until 25th October Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham is a former SAS sergeant major and bodyguard to stars including Brad Pitt, Angelena Jolie, Russell Crowe, Sir Michael Caine, Tom Cruise and many others. Join him for an evening of fascinating stories from his time in the SAS and as a bodyguard. 7.30pm. Tickets £25. Les Musicals, 23rd May – POSTPONED until 15th June 2021 Join G4 frontman Jonathan Ansell and Britain’s Got Talent winner Jai McDowall for the ultimate celebration of musical theatre.

This vocally dynamic evening showcases even more smash-hit songs from the greatest musicals of all time, brought to you by two of the world’s finest voices. 7.30pm. Tickets from £29.50. Viva La Divas!, 17th June Get ready to witness three of Strictly Come Dancing’s most loved female dancers together on one stage as Janette Manrara, Nadiya Bychkova and Katya Jones come together to bring you a brand-new song and dance spectacular that celebrates what it is to be a diva. 7pm. Tickets £38.50. For more details visit

Celebration of stitches

Contemporary art at Mostyn

Join the north Wales branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild as it shows off its beautiful handiwork at Bodnant Garden in Tal-y-Cafn on 20th June, the National Day of Stitch. An exhibit will take place in the Old Mill from 10.30am to 3.30pm, with members on hand to show you how a few simple stitches can create a work of art. You can even learn a stitch or two while making your own small work of art. No experience is necessary, and all ages are welcome. The activity is free, but normal entrance fees to the garden apply. Visit www.nationaltrust. to find out more.

Discover out-ofthe-ordinary art at Mostyn Gallery in Llandudno. Kiki Kogelnik: Riot Of Objects, until 5th July, The work of one of the key figures of the post-war avant-garde spans five decades, evolving from abstraction to Pop Art. Athena Papadopoulos: Cain And Abel Can’t And Able, until 5th July Working across sculpture, painting, text and sound, Papadopoulos defies traditional representations of the body. The gallery is open 10.30am to 5pm, Tuesday to Sunday and admission is free.

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Staged antics at Theatr Clwyd RSC Live: The Winter’s Tale, 10th June – 1st July Set across a 16-year span up to the Moon landings, this new production imagines a world where the ghosts of fascist Europe collide with horrors of The Handmaid’s Tale before washing up on a joyful seashore. Directed by Erica Whyman. Various dates. Tickets from £15.

The Canary & The Crow, 23rd & 24th June Grime and hip hop-inspired ‘gig theatre’ by Daniel Ward about the journey of a workingclass black kid accepted to a prestigious grammar school. With original live music by Prez 96 and James Frewer. Recommended for ages 14-plus. 7.45pm. Tickets from £10

Carducci String Quartet & Navarra String Quartet, 14th June The internationally renowned quartets join forces to perform Mendelssohn’s sublime masterwork, The Octet. 7.30pm. Tickets from £10.

Walking To Jerusalem, 30th June & 1st July In 2017, a pilgrimage set out to walk from London to Jerusalem calling for full equal rights for everyone in the Holy Land. This is their story. 7.45pm. Tickets from £10.

Calling all knights and princesses! Polish up your tiara or dig out your trusty sword for Chirk Castle’s Knights & Princesses Weekend, which returns on 30th to 31st May. One of Chirk Castle’s most popular events, the weekend offers young knights and princesses a fantastic weekend of fun, games, archery and storytelling. Expect knights, jesters, and dragons – stories, music and games. And don’t miss the afternoon costume parade, with prizes for the best dressed knight and princess! National Trust properties closed all gated parks and gardens at the end of March. For more information on when events will restart, visit

WNO looks ahead to autumn season The Welsh National Opera has announced that its summer tour of Mozart’s comic opera Così Fan Tutte, or School of Love, has been cancelled. If you already have tickets for any of these performances, you’ll be entitled to a refund – or in most cases there will be a chance to DID YOU exchange your tickets for a performance in autumn 2020 or spring 2021. KNOW? The WNO hopes to return with its autumn season, featuring deep tragedy, cunning humour and stimulating stories. Rossini’s witty tale of The Welsh love, lust and trickery, The Barber Of Seville, opens the season, followed National Opera by the heart-wrenching tale of hope, love and despair, Jenůfa. The was founded season closes with an ambitious new opera, Migrations, featuring a cast in 1943 of 100 and the WNO Orchestra. For the latest news, visit

20th June, Mosaic Workshop, Alyn Waters Country Park, Wrexham A fun two-hour mosaic workshop. Use upcycled materials, such as broken crockery, to make an image on slate and learn the basics of mosaic making along the way. No experience required. £25. 10am and 1pm. For further details email marketing@ or call 01978 757524.

21st June, Father’s Day DIY, RSPB Conwy Nature Reserve Test your and your dad’s DIY skills by building your own brilliant bee B&B! Materials, tools and wildflower seeds provided. 9.30am-5pm. Members £4, non-members £6, dads free! Booking is essential; call 01492 581025.

21st June, Father’s Day, Llangollen Railway Treat dad to something different this year! Take a trip on a steam train and enjoy a pork pie, scotch egg and a bottle of real ale while travelling through the Dee Valley. The train departs at 1.15pm. Adults £25, children £13.

28th June, Pond Dipping For Adults, RSPB Conwy Nature Reserve Pond dipping isn’t just for kids! Grab a net and rediscover your natural curiosity as you delve into ponds to explore the complex food chain beneath the water’s surface. 2pm-3.30pm. Members £3, non-members £4. Booking is essential; call 01492 581025.

28th June, Faenol Historic Vehicle Show, Stad Y Faenol, Bangor Annual charity event organised by the Automobile Club of North Wales to raise money for the Air Ambulance and Blood Bikes. Open to all historic vehicles and nonmembers. 10am-4.30pm.

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We'll Be Back Steam trains will be back on the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway soon. In the meantime, please follow us on Facebook or at for all the latest information.

2020 Gala Postponed Please Keep Checking The Website For Up-To-Date Opening Times

To Donate To Our Covid-19 Appeal Please Visit:

Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway

Discover new adventures, a World Heritage Site, two National Trust properties, a thriving town centre and make memories by visiting Wrexham County in 2020 once safe to do so. To plan your visit and see our new itineraries, visit


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DID YOU KNOW? Elan Valley Estate has an International Dark Sky Park Award Drygarn & Gorllwyn, 13th June A 10½mile energetic walk over wild and rough country with Andrew Leonard and Dilys Harlow, visiting two high points of the Elan Valley Estate. Ascend the Rhiwnant to Drygarn Fawr, walk eastwards to Pen y Gorllwyn and return down the Marchnant. Bring suitable walking equipment, boots, drinks and a packed lunch. Meet at

Sing your heart out under the stars

Don’t Panic! - A Tribute To Dad’s Army, 20th June The nation’s only tribute to the long-running hit comedy television series. Regardless of whether you are familiar with the iconic TV show or not, this light-hearted, laugh-along, sing-along comedy show is a surefire hit with young and old. The gang are on patrol to keep spirits high, but will they be able to catch the German spy? Includes impressive magic and side-splitting human puppetry. 7.30pm. Tickets £22. For more information and to book, visit www. brycheiniog.

A Family Ramble In The Valley, 18th June A scenic, family-friendly 4½-mile walk alongside Dol y Mynach and Caban Coch reservoirs led by Alan from Powys Ramblers. Meet at Nantgwyllt Church car park for an 11am start.

Live theatre streamed at Aberystwyth Arts Centre

Enjoy a fantastic outdoor cinema experience at Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells with plenty of songs to sing along to! You can watch Grease on 25th June and The Greatest Showman on 26th June, and you’ll also have the opportunity to sing along to your favourite songs as the action unfolds on the giant cinema screen. Gates open at 8pm, with food, snacks drinks and music on offer before the films start shortly after sunset. Tickets cost £14.50.

A surefire hit at Theatr Brycheiniog

Llannerch y Cawr car park for a 9.30am start.

NT Live: Leopoldstadt, 25th June Academy and Tony Awardwinner Tom Stoppard’s critically acclaimed new play is a passionate drama of love, family and endurance. We follow the story of Hermann Merz, a factory owner and baptised Jew, and his family across half a century, passing through the convulsions of war, revolution, impoverishment, annexation by Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. A company of 40 actors represent each generation of the family in this epic, but intimate play. Filmed live on stage in the West End.

Build an edible garden Learn to create healthy soil and efficiently grow your own delicious veggies at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth on 13th and 14th June. Over the two days you’ll cover a mix of practice and theory, culminating in building an efficient food produce keyhole garden from scratch. You’ll also find out how to improve your soil, creating nutrient-rich soil perfect for growing tvegetables. The course starts at 9.30am on the 13th and ends at 4pm on the 14th. Tickets cost £200, which covers tuition, all materials, and full board shared accommodation. Because this is a highly practical course, safety boots are required and waterproof clothing is advised.

Fun on the rails Train enthusiasts should head to Corris Railway on 24th May for a special gala day. The steam, diesel and battery electric locomotives will be in action at Corris, Maespoeth Junction and on the line in between. Passenger and gravity trains will also run along with demonstration freight and van trains. The locomotive and carriage sheds at the Junction will be open so you can see carriages and wagons under construction and repair, and there will be plenty of time to explore the museum at Corris. May/June 2020 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 9

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On 25th June come for a Summer Migrant Wildlife Walk at RSPB Lake Vyrnwy, when a warden will take you on a gentle walk to discover the fascinating international lives of summer visiting wildlife, from birds to butterflies. The walk takes place from 11am to 1pm, and costs £8 for members and £10 for non-members. For more information and to book your place, call 01691 870278.

Peek into the past at Powis Castle Glimpse inside some of the most extraordinary cabinets in Powis Castle’s collection this June. Discover ornate carving, exceptional marquetery and vibrant lacquer works, all of which have been protected by the dark for hundreds of years. Open Cabinets runs throughout June, and the collection is open from 11am to 5pm. www.

All aboard for a gin masterclass A evening on the Talyllyn Railway exploring Welsh gins with Dyfi Distillery, due to take place on 13th June, will now take place on 22nd August. Gather in the Gin Bar at Tywyn Wharf and enjoy a welcoming cocktail before steaming off to enjoy the next three cocktails with expertly paired garnishes, all included in your ticket price. Tickets cost £39.50 per person, including three drinks, a two-course buffet meal and a return rail ticket.

A great day out for Dad Treat your dad to a trip on the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway this Father’s Day, they’ll travel at their child’s price! On 21st June, fathers who travel on the popular mid-Wales steam railway with one or more of their children will pay just £5 return instead of £14.80. The offer applies to multiple generations – so a grandfather, father and child riding together will need only three £5 tickets. And if there is a greatgrandfather in the party, he travels for free! For a train times and to book your tickets, visit

Music at MOMA Machynlleth Queen Will Rock You, 13th June This electric theatre production reproduces the enthralling appeal of rock’s most ostentatious frontman, faithfully recreating the unique Queen experience. Includes performances of the most popular hits, such as ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘Radio Ga Ga’, ‘We Are The Champions’, ‘We Will Rock You’ and many more. 7.30pm. Tickets £21.

Ride and dine on the Vale of Rheidol Railway Make the most of the long summer evenings with a steam-hauled evening excursion along the Rheidol Valley, stopping at Devil’s Bridge for a delicious fish and chip supper before making the return journey home. The first Summer Evening Excursion is due to take place on 27th May, with more dates during July and August. Trains leave Aberystwyth at 6pm. www.

Historic moments at Wyeside Arts Centre, Builth Wells Sense & Sensibility, 17th June Join Ballet Theatre UK as it delves into the romantic world of Jane Austen with a classical adaptation of Sense & Sensibility. Following the lives of the Dashwood sisters, this full-length ballet explores the romantic twists and turns of society life in the late 18th century. Set to a glorious score, true to the era, the ballet holds the essence of a true period drama combing heart-wrenching pas de deux and stunning classical ballet. 7.30pm. Tickets £15.

20th-21st June, Gritfest, Camarthenshire Gritfest is a two-day, multi-stage gravel enduro event with timed special stages. Open to all styles of bikes, it is predominantly aimed at gravel and adventure bikes. Mountain bikes and cyclocross bikes are also welcome. Entry includes camping across the full weekend.

20th-21st June, Wild Survival Course, Brecon Beacons During this intense 24hour survival experience, run by the Bear Grylls Survival Academy, you’ll learn practical life-saving skills and push yourself further than ever before. Have you got what it takes to self-rescue from captivity in just 24 hours? £349 per person. www.

21st June, Father’s Day, Corris Railway, Llanerchaeron Treat your dad to a great day out on the Corris Railway – for free! All fathers travelling on this Sunday can enjoy a free ride and receive a small gift when accompanied by a child under 15. For more information visit

27th June, Build A Lapsteel Guitar, Centre For Alternative Technology, Machynlleth If you’ve ever dreamed of making your own musical instrument, lapsteel guitars are a great place to start. During this one-day practical course, you will build a simple guitar to take away with you, based mainly on reclaimed materials. £85 per person, including tuition, all materials and lunch.

27th June, Midnight Mountain Marathon, Talybonon-Usk, Brecon Set in the breathtaking Brecon Beacons, this event takes you through forests, over streams, past waterfalls and up mountains. The difference between this and any other mountain marathon is that you start at 5.30pm and have to finish before the midnight cut-off.

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Afonwen North Wales


d d y w l b pgewnyllt gyda’r


Bwciwch y parti perffaith ar gyfer anturiaethwyr bach ar un o’n gwarchodfeydd natur.

RSPB Ynys-hir 01654 700222

RSPB Conwy 01492 584091

ild Gowitw h an RSPB


Book the perfect party for little adventurers on one of our nature reserves.

RSPB Lake Vyrnwy 01691 870278

RSPB Newport Wetlands 01633 636363

832-1297-20-21: Lluniau: Pryf lludw, Pryf genwair ac Esgidiau coch gan, Modrwyau coed gan iStock. Mae’r RSPB yn elusen gofrestredig yng Nghymru a Lloegr, 207076, yn yr Alban, SC037654. Photos: Woodlouse, Earthworm and Red boots by, Tree rings by iStock. The RSPB is a registered charity in England & Wales 207076, in Scotland SC037654

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CHESTER RACECOURSE Proud to be part of the community since 1539 For the latest information about our 2020 fixtures and other events visit

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26th June, The-Rex: A Tribute To Marc Bolan and T. Rex, The Live Rooms, Chester The-Rex is a band of five close friends who are in it for the fun and the love of raw, live music. Armed with a wealth of talent and enthusiasm, the boys set about touring various T. Rex conventions and top venues nationwide. 7pm. £10.

Virtual Zoo Days, Chester Zoo Staff at Chester Zoo are trying to deliver as much positive news and as many updates about the animals as they can during the pandemic. Updates will be shown on their social media sites and website. There’s nothing like a newborn baby animal to lift your spirits!

POSTPONED – The British Art Portfolio Spring Exhibition, Sicily Oak Gallery, Cholmondeley The exhibition which was due to take place at the start of May has been postponed until spring 2021.

Online Tours, Weaver Hall Museum, Northwich The museum is making activity templates accessible for families and looking at ways to make the collections accessible online while they can’t be enjoyed in person. For the latest visit www.weaverhall.

Take a walk with Cheshire Wildlife Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s nature reserves remain open, so if you are able to get out to enjoy a walk and take in the best of the season’s wildlife please do so, but respect the guidance around social distancing. Despite coronavirus changing life as we know it, the days are getting longer and joy is still happening outside. Birds are singing, frogs are on the move and the bumblebees are foraging. If

DID YOU KNOW? Cheshire Wildlife Trust manages more than 30 reserves

you’re unable to get out and see it for yourself, Cheshire Wildlife Trust will bring as much of it as they can to you via its website, social media and e-newsletters. Visit www. for more details.

Delivery service from Blakemere Some services are still available from Blakemere Village during lockdown. Ginger & Browns and Cheshire Aquatics are both continuing to trade as they supply essential food products to the pet market – contact them direct for any pet needs. The Village Restaurant & Coffee Bar remains closed to the public, but is offering a delivery service for meals as well essential food boxes. For updates, visit

Rock the boat in Middlewich Middlewich’s 30th Folk & Boat Festival is still scheduled to take place from 17th to 21st June, with a wide variety of acts playing four main stages, plus parades and children’s entertainment. Live music will take place at venues across the town, while visitors will also be able to take home tasty treats from the floating market. Stretching from Town Bridge to the Big Lock, the market is a real spectacle with brightly coloured boats selling everything from cakes and crafts to ironwork and paintings. The town council is still assessing whether or not the event should take place in light of the government’s advice to combat the spread of coronavirus. While a decision is being made, tickets have been taken off sale. If the festival is postponed, any tickets already purchased will be transferred to the new date, or refunded in full if the event is ultimately cancelled. For the latest updates on the status of the festival, visit

Midsummer mayhem in Chester One of Britain’s oldest festivals, Chester’s Midsummer Watch, takes place on 20th and 21st June. The event, which dates back more than 500 years, includes a parade through the streets of Chester, featuring giant statues that are sure to entertain young and old. Fire-breathers,

musicians and local children also join in the fun. The parade starts at 2pm from the Town Hall Square, and is a free event. www.midsummer

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14th May, Ruth Jones, Birkenhead School Ruth Jones is a writer, actor and novelist best known for her role as Nessa in the hit television series Gavin & Stacey, which she co-wrote with James Corden. Hear her talk about her latest book, Us Three, at this special event. 7.30pm. Tickets £21.60

21st May, Introduction To A Keto Lifestyle, West Kirby Arts Centre Keto Life Coach will change the way you view and experience food, and help you lose weight rapidly with no hunger. 7.30pm. www.

Paul Lavelle Foundation 10K & Fun Run, Hoylake The Paul Lavelle Foundation is hosting its third annual 10k and 5k road run, following the success of last year’s event. The charity has been set up to raise awareness of domestic violence, in particular for male victims. Registration is at the Community Centre in Hoylake, and there is also a free Golden Mile Fun Run for children.

20th June, Forage & Cookery, Wirral Park, Thurstaston Join a Totally Wild UK professional forager to learn the art of foraging and to discover the vast range of wild edibles lying all around us before cooking up your very own wild food lunch utilising wild and foraged ingredients picked on the day – and some bits prepared by the Totally Wild UK team. 10am-4pm.

21st June, Summer Solstice Retreat, Church Farm, Wirral Salute the sun, soak up its warmth and energy and celebrate the longest day of the year with yoga, meditation, connection and conversation, fantastic food and delicious drinks. 3pm-9pm. £50.

27th & 28th June, Cancer Research Race For Life & Pretty Muddy, Birkenhead Park Join hundreds of men, women and kids at this Pretty Muddy obstacle race event and raise money to beat cancer. Entry costs £19.99 for Pretty Muddy and £10 for Pretty Muddy Kids. Enter now at

An eclectic mix at West Kirby Arts Centre Peter Morton, 15th May Peter Morton is a folk singersongwriter with a wealth of great songs and a remarkable singing voice. A compelling and energetic performer, his songs have been described as an unruly mix of humour, politics, love and social comment. 7.30pm. Tickets £10.

Mersey Belles and Beaus, 22nd May Formed through the love of the ukulele, Mersey Belles and Beaus is made up of Danielle, Rosie, Liam and Ged. They play various combinations of ukulele, banjo and bass, their repertoire alternating between vintage favourites and retro-infused pop classics. 7.30pm. Tickets £8.

DID YOU KNOW? West Kirby Arts Centre hosts the UK’s only permanent exhibition dedicated to Wilfred Owen

Corki & Friends, 6th June Paul ‘Corki’ Corcoran leads a folk music fundraiser for the charity Tyddyn Mon, which helps adults with learning disabilities. With Will Riding and more. 7.30pm. £10. www.westkirbyartscentre.

Artists open their doors on the Wirral Visit some great local artists and uncover the secrets of how they work over the weekend of 13th-14th June. The Wirral Open Studio Tour is an event in which local artists invite the public to visit their studios, workshops and display spaces. It’s an excellent opportunity to talk first-hand to the artists and to view their work in the environment in which it was created, or just to ask that eternal question, ‘What do artists do all day?’

Gladstone Theatre treat The Elvis Presley Story, 26th June Travel with the boy from Tupelo through his teenage years in Memphis and tentative footsteps into Sun Records studios to his meteoric rise to the world’s biggestselling artist. Featuring renditions of ‘That’s All Right Mamma’, ‘Mystery Train’, ‘Don’t Be Cruel’, ‘Heartbreak Hotel’, ‘Love Me Tender’ and more. Tickets £16.50. www.gladstone

Last year, 65 artists took part, welcoming visitors from the Wirral and surrounding areas, as well as from further afield, into their studios. The artists involved work in a variety of disciplines – including painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, glass, textiles and jewellery, – so whatever you’re interested in there will be something for you.

The Vikings are coming! Viking hordes will descend on Claremont Farm in Bebington from 27th to 28th June in a new event for all the family. Get a flavour of day-to-day life in a Viking village at the festival, which celebrates Wirral’s rich heritage. There will also be a re-enactment of the Battle of Brunanburh – a dramatic clash of shield and sword between Viking and Saxon warriors – and a performance dedicated to Viking boat burning.

14 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2020

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s ite ate s b pd g. njoy s e r w for u enin an e age u o s p c p ck age re-o you ook e b h p d , e c ook an sed Face s a b 9 lo r Ple ace id-1 in c ou v a n d F Co m o an on e re ities w iv st ct hil ne a W nli o

Clwyd Veteran & Vintage Machinery Society Ltd. present the

OSWESTRY VINTAGE SHOW 2020 CANCELLED We will be back next year, so please save this date 19th & 20th June 2021.

RUTHIN GAOL The only purpose-built Pentonville style prison open as a heritage attraction in Wales. People can spend time exploring its nooks and crannies and learn about life in the Victorian prison system. See how the prisoners lived their daily lives: what they ate, how they worked, and the punishments they suffered.

The CVVMS team would like to thank you all for your continued support and we hope you all stay safe. At the Oswestry show ground SY11 4AB. Opening times April to September Every day 10am-5pm except Tuesdays

Miniature Steam Railway, Tractors & Horticulture, Shire Horses, Vintage & Classic Cars, Motorcycles & Landrovers, Commercials, Military Vehicles, Stationary Engines, Campers, Outside Exhibits, Awning Displays, Bicycles & Prams, Local Crafts & Produce, Model Halls, Auto Jumble & Trade Stands, Fun Dog Show both days, Family Entertainment, Food Stalls & Bar.

Club meetings, when restarted, are held 19:30, first Tuesday every month at Llay Miners welfare institute, LL12 0TH. We welcome new members of all ages. PRESERVE THE PAST FOR OUR FUTURE.

Clwyd veteran & vintage machinery society.

Advertise your

NANTCLWYD Y DRE Take a trip through the seven ages of Nantclwyd y Dre, Wales’s oldest dated timbered town house. The house was started in 1435 and has been added to, updated and upgraded throughout the centuries, and now has been beautifully restored. Visit the house and gardens.



Has your event been postponed? Do you need to tell our readers? Get in touch we can help. Opening times April to September Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays 11am to 5pm

Shire Magazine, The best of North and Mid Wales, Cheshire, Wirral & Shropshire or 01691 661270

Double decker bus and coach hire based in Shrewsbury 57 to 100 seaters available to hire for any occasion Wedding, prom, day trip, sightseeing tour or shuttle service.

Open for general visits April-September Pre-booked visits available year round 01743 612002 Regional Transport Ltd, 5b Tower Park, Ennerdale Road, Shrewsbury, SY1 3TD

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Seen on screen at the Old Market Hall, Shrewsbury Hermitage: The Power Of Art, 3rd June This documentary film tells the great stories and events that have passed down the corridors of the world-famous Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg and through the surrounding city streets, from the museum’s foundation by Peter I and the splendour of Catherine the Great to the the triumph of Alexander I against Napoleon and the 1917 Revolution, right through to the present day. Noon. Tickets £13. Berliner Philharmoniker Live: Season Finale, 12th June Enjoy the conclusion of the Berlin Philharmonic’s 2019/20 Live


21st June, Bollywood Night, Cound Hall, near Shrewsbury – POSTPONED until 4th October Join the party for a night of food, drinks, dancing and music. The drinks reception with canapes is followed by an Indian meal catered the Lajina of Lajina Masala, plus a raffle, games and surprises. £50 per person, or £450 for a table of 10. Proceeds to support Shropshire RCC projects that ‘improve lives, build communities’. Call 01743 360641.

DID YOU KNOW? The Hermitage in St Petersburg is the world’s second largest art museum Cinema season with Gustavo Dudamel conducting Mahler’s powerful Symphony No. 2 in C minor ‘Resurrection’. This spectacular concert will be broadcast live from Berlin and will feature exclusive behindthe-scenes interviews and insights into the programme. 6.30pm. Tickets £17.50.

Art of the Borderlands in Oswestry See a diverse selection of arts from the region as part of Borderland Visual Arts 2020 at the Willow Gallery in Oswestry until 27th June. As part of Open Studios – which takes place on 13th and 14th June and 20th and 21st June – Willow Gallery presents work by the members of the thriving artists’ community Borderland Visual Arts (BVA). The 60 members of the BVA work in a broad spectrum of art forms. As well as painting and drawing, members work in textiles, printmaking, woodcarving and photography. There are ceramicists, sculptors and jewellers too. For further information, visit

Comforting words from Booka Bookshop Oswestry’s independent Booka bookshop has cancelled or postponed all author events until further notice. The shop and café are shut, and book club events are also postponed. You can, however, still order books to be delivered


to your home – ideal if you’re looking to while away the hours. For details see Booka has teamed up with other booksellers to provide a virtual events programme – At Home With – via social media over the coming weeks. To see the latest listings, visit AtHomeWith4Indies.

26th June Samuel Moore, Willow Gallery, Oswestry The distinguished flamenco guitarist Samuel Moore presents a diverse programme drawing on the many palos (musical forms) that shape the flamenco tradition. From the plaintive cry of laments such as soleá, to the razor-sharp attack of dance forms such as bulerías, this concert promises to be a unique exploration of the flamenco tradition and its most famous artists. 8pm. £12.50. Call 01691 657575.

Bite Sized Ballets: Puss In Boots, 13th June Puss in Boots is no ordinary cat. Clever and charming, he takes life in his stride and befriends everyone he meets. The only thing is, he always seems to bring his master, Jack, bad luck… Noon. Tickets £9 adults, £8 children.

Walk with the animals Organised events scheduled for May at the British Ironwork Centre near Oswestry – including the popular Proms in the Park – have been cancelled. However, the sculpture park remains open for walking and light exercise from Monday to Friday. The café and showroom are closed, and there will not be the usual welcome and concierge. www.

Veg boxes and plants at Holly Farm Holly Farm Garden Centre in Prees, near Whitchurch, is closed but staff are still busy providing deliveries to the Shropshire region, as well as offering a collection service. Essentials such as vegetables, potatoes, eggs and milk are available. Or grow your own produce from a selection of tomato plants, vegetable trays, strawberry plants and raspberry canes. To order, call 01948 840630 from 9.30am to 2.30pm, Monday to Friday. May/June 2020 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 17

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Arena dates for Jack Savoretti and Tom Jones Two huge names in music – Jack Savoretti and Tom Jones – are due to perform at the QEII Arena in Telford this June. Celebrating the biggest year of his career, Jack Savoretti performs on 27th June. Jack has released six studio albums, with his latest – Singing To Strangers – reaching number one on the UK Albums Chart. Tickets cost from £42.50, and the show kicks off at 4pm. On 28th June, Welsh singing legend and The Voice judge Tom Jones takes to the stage from 4pm. Tom has been in the

Theatre Severn

The Killer Question, 6th June Will Inspector Black solve the mystery? Will Margaret be home in time for Country File? Who will prove to be the ultimate victim of The Chair? And, just as important, which actor will play which character? The audience decides! 8pm. Tickets £13. Al Murray: Landlord Of Hope & Glory, 20th June The year is 2020. The world stands on the brink. Turmoil is the norm. Questions have been asked and none answered. What we need is one man

Celebrating with friends The chance to see Mick Fleetwood and a starstudded line-up celebrate the music of Peter Green on screen at Wellington’s Orbit Cinema, which was sceduled to be shown on 2nd and 7th June, has been postponed until September. Mick assembled a stellar cast of musicians for Mick Fleetwood & Friends, which celebrates the music that established Fleetwood Mac as one of the biggest bands in the world – the music of Peter Green. The line-up for the once-in-a-lifetime concert – which was filmed at the London Palladium in February – includes Neil Finn (Crowded House), Noel Gallagher (Oasis), Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Jonny Lang, John Mayall, Pete Townshend (The Who), Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) and Bill Wyman (The Rolling Stones) as well as Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie, making it an absolute must-see for any music fan out there. Check for updates.

DID YOU KNOW? Tom Jones’s real name is Thomas Woodward

business for more than 50 years, and his career continues to go from strength to strength. Now 75, he has sustained incredible popularity as a live performer and recording artist for five decades – and garnered some of the best reviews of his career for his most recent albums, Long Lost Suitcase, Spirit In The Room and Praise & Blame. Tickets cost from £61.90.

to step forward, one man with all the answers. Well you’re in luck, ladies and gentlemen – he’s here! 3pm and 7.30pm. Tickets £29.50. ELO Experience, 26th June – POSTPONED until 31st October Celebrating the great music of Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra, the ELO Experience’s show includes the greatest hits from the band’s extensive and impressive back catalogue, which spans more than 45 years. 7.30pm. Tickets £26.50.


Park Hall Farm near Oswestry may be closed until the summer season but animal fans can still keep up to date with all the latest goings-on at the farm, including taking a peek at the farm’s newborn lambs, on the Park Hall Farm Oswestry Facebook page. There are also competitions and experts available to answer your animal-related questions. The farm will be posting lots of updates on Facebook and on its website – see for details.

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Award-winning Markets Our Indoor Market and Artisan Market are currently closed please contact us on 01921 680222 or visit www.oswestry-tc-gov-uk for more information and to confirm future event dates. FUTURE EVENTS

Ifton Brass

23rd August – 2pm until 4pm Free family music in the award 2nd August – 2pm until 4pm Free family music in the award winning winning Cae Glas Park. Cae Glas Park.

Porth-y-waen Silver Band

MAY & JUN 20 The Civic Centre is currently closed but you can still reach us on



Whitchurch Food & Drink Festival 2020 has been cancelled but the event will return on 15th & 16th May 2021

PARTY IN THE PARK will hopefully be held later in the summer.

St Oswalds Fest

8th & 9th August Oswestry celebrates its famous King.

Oswestry Produce Market

15th August - 9am until 3pm Handpicked Shropshire based food and craft producers selling the best the County has to offer in the town centre.

Oswestry Balloon Festival and Street Produce Market

29th & 30th August Massive event with over 25 balloons launching from Cae Glas Park. Food and craft stalls, live music, street entertainers etc. Free family event.

The Indoor Market is open every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and the outdoor market every Wednesday and Saturday. Plus we hold the Artisan Market on the last Friday of every month. The new weekly street market has gone from strength to strength attracting some fantastic bespoke stalls. For further information call 01691 680222 or visit:

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Many of our shows are currently being rearranged please check for updated information. Please visit Whitchurch Town Council Facebook page or our website for further details and updates

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The Aberystwyth

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...and featuring the largest camera obscura in the world!

Escape to the countryside between Welshpool and Newtown. Some of the fantastic places of interest within 35 mile radius: Chirk Castle, Lake Vrynwy RSPB, Coed y Dinas, Powis Castle, Hafren Forest, Ynyshir RSPB, Devils Bridge, Elan Valley, Abbey Cwm Hir, Whittington Castle, Stiperstones, Long Mynd, Clun Castle.

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‘Y CONSTI’ is a breathtaking setting for visitors to enjoy a range of refreshments. Bowling Alley, Bouncy Castle, Frisbee Golf, Exhibitions, Shops... and much more.

POSTPONED Further details to be announced. Check our Whitchurch Town Council Fairground Facebook page for updates or fun email Whitchurch Town Band - Glo’s Dance & Cheer Tel: 01948 665761

Maggie May’s Dance

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Magic and moves at Telford’s The Place Tom Brace: Brace Of Spades, 14th June – POSTPONED until 21st March 2021 Tom Brace returns with a brand-new magic show for the whole family. Following on from his sold-out Edinburgh Fringe run, Tom is on the road again with a show that features his unique blend of comedy and magic. It promises to have a little something for everybody, and features stunts of danger, classic game shows revisited and lots of audience participation. 3pm. Tickets £14.

Inspiration for home activities While Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery is closed, the staff are working hard to bring fun weekly activities inspired by the museum collection to allow families to explore and learn together. It’s tough being indoors, so most of the ideas will be about foraging in the garden or on your daily walk to find things to use in our fun, hands-on activities. Get the whole family involved and be creative together. For more information, visit the Shrewsbury Museum Facebook page or visit www.

Top tributes at Theatre on the Steps, Bridgnorth Killer Rhapsody: The Queen Experience, 13th & 14th June Spectacular stage show that runs for more than two hours, featuring both the mega hits of Queen and their deeper cuts, such as ‘Last Horizon’, ‘I’m In Love With My Car’, ‘Brighton Rock’ and more. Queen fans are in for an amazing time they won’t forget. 8pm (7pm on 14th). Tickets £15. Roxy Magic, 26th-27th June The UK’s best and longestrunning tribute to Roxy Music & Bryan Ferry recreate entirely live material that spans four decades, from futuristic/ nostalgic art rock through to classic standards and sophisticated adult-orientated rock. 8pm. Tickets £14-£16.


Giovanni Pernice is the Guinness World Record holder for jive kicks and flicks

Giovanni Pernice: This Is Me, 25th June – POSTPONED until 15th April 2021 Strictly Come Dancing favourite Giovanni Pernice is back for his fourth year of touring. The Latin and ballroom showman is set to light up the stage, alongside his cast of talented professional dancers. 7.30pm. Tickets £32.

Whittington Castle open for walks and bird feeding To comply with the government’s Covid-19 response, Whittington Castle near Oswestry closed its tearoom, shop, secondhand bookshop and toilets. However, the grounds are still open at all times for people to use, so you can carry on feeding the swans, ducks and wildlife! Duck food is available from the Dog Groomers shop across the road.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to the castle, to help it get up and running again once the restrictions are lifted, can donate money in the pay and display machine on car park or by cheque. For further details, visit

Keeping art alive at The Qube The Qube gallery in Oswestry is closed to the public but is still offering art fans plenty to do from behind the scenes. Its latest exhibitions are now available online, so you can see Elements, featuring stunning works by Joanne Dale and Stefanie Gundlach, from the comfort and safety of your own home. The Lines photography competition exhibition is also available, including work by Best in Show winners Tina Corfield and Ray Hadlow, and under-16s winner Drew-Anna Hamilton. Blogs and news also include inspiring creative activities to do at home offering crafts and downloadable colouring pages for adults and children. Visit the community centre’s Facebook page @Qubeoswestry or the website at May/June 2020 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 21

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Discover what Shire’s team thought of some of the concerts, live events and theatre they’ve seen at local venues over the past couple of months


on the shores of late 19thcentury England. Each believes the other dead and the vulnerable Viola disguises The Festival Centre may be herself as a man, Cesario, to closed, but theatre lovers enter the service of Orsino. A perfect love triangle is can use the subscription service Digital Theatre soon established: to catch up with Orsino loves Olivia, ‘Music is the productions they who falls for Cesario, food of love who loves Orsino. may have missed. And you won’t find a Music is, of course, – and here the food of love – and funnier show than the it becomes Royal Shakespeare here it becomes a feast. a feast’ Lavish Victorian sets Company’s Twelfth Night, with Adrian provide sumptuous backdrops for Shakespeare’s Edmondson giving a barnstorming turn as Malvolio. delightful songs, danced as Director Christopher witty pastiches of Gilbert and Sullivan and the music Luscombe shipwrecks the hall. JH twins Viola and Sebastian

Arley is a short drive from Northwich and Knutsford; a magical place just waiting to be discovered... Historic stately home Award-winning gardens Café serving meals and snacks Dogs welcome on a lead Film location including Peaky Blinders Children’s Adventure PlayZone Grade II* listed chapel Woodland Walk Plant nursery Wedding and corporate venue Open all year round Arley Hall & Gardens, Northwich, Cheshire, CW9 6NA 01565 777353

“Thoroughly entertaining… he is a total pro and terrific company” THE TIMES

THE KITE RUNNER, THEATR CLWYD, MOLD Khaled Hosseini’s novel spans cultures and continents, presenting a personal story of guilt and atonement alongside sweeping historical changes. Sticking to the book’s plot, this stage version follows Amir from his childhood in Afghanistan to Pakistan, the US and back to Talibancontrolled Afghanistan. The action suffers from the sheer amount of information it’s trying to squeeze into a short space of time, but where it feels rushed or overly narrated, the play triumphs in transporting us into a different culture and evoking

the colour and culture of life in Kabul. It’s a moving and powerful adaptation during which you’ll encounter the very best and worst of human nature. HG

GET INhave TOUCH! If you a Ifshow you have a show in happening the Shire patch, we anywhere in Wales can a reviewer andsend the Borders, we –can andsend youra show can reviewer appear under thecan – and your show spotlight on these appear under the pages too!on Email the spotlight these details to editorial@ pages too! Email details to editorial@ We look forward to hearing from you!



SATURDAY 30TH JANUARY 2021 - 8.00PM Tickets £27 (Booking Fees included) HAFREN BOX OFFICE

01686 614 555


22 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2020

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e b ll ' That y a D the vourite a f e tr a e th l a Music ght up u a c y a D n e rr Da d of his a e h a e r i h S with se The oo tl oo F n i e c n performa as due to w h c i h w , l a c Musi ru in June m y C e u n e V t i s vi


ll-round entertainer Darren Day has delighted generations of television viewers, theatregoers and music lovers with his repertoire that seemingly knows no bounds. He is starring as Reverend Moore in Footloose The Musical, which is due to play at various theatres across the region in 2020. The 51-year-old has been a family favourite since he shot to fame as the lead role in Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, taking over from Phillip Schofield. He has since enjoyed an extensive career in the West End, including roles in Summer Holiday, Copacabana and Grease, as well as numerous tours including Alfie, Carousel, Great Expectations, Godspell, The Rocky Horror Show, We Will Rock You and many more. His return to the stage in 2020 will be his first lengthy tour for some time and he’s looking forward to the experience. Darren has fond memories of some formative theatrical experiences in the Shire patch.

‘My second job was at Theatre Clwyd in Mold in 1993,’ he says. ‘I was Pip in Great Expectations and it was such an exciting time for me. I was down meeting the Queen one day, then back in Mold the next, and I loved my time there. The scenery and the landscapes are lovely so I’m looking forward to being back in north Wales. ‘I haven’t done a tour like this for some time – since 2008, in fact – and I’m genuinely buzzed about it. It’s an iconic show, with an iconic score, and now my kids are a bit older they can come and see me in it, which is great. ‘It’s a privilege to get to my age and still get that feeling about a role and a tour. I’ve had the good fortune to be involved in some of the biggest shows around and it’s great to still be involved in them, even though obviously I get all the dad roles now! ‘I did a run in Priscilla Queen Of The Desert a couple of years ago – including an appearance at Venue Cymru in Llandudno

– and some of the younger lads two left feet. It would be such came up to me in rehearsals hard work and they would have saying I was their inspiration to teach me from scratch – it and the reason they are doing would be dancing by numbers what they’re doing now. That – but if the opportunity came is so incredibly flattering but around again that’s the only does make me feel old too!’ other reality show I’d consider. On TV Darren has ‘I did an awful Come played parts in various Dine With Me in 2010 ‘I got asked and I still can’t cook shows, including to do Hollyoaks, The Bill, for the life of me. And Strictly but Doctors and Holby City, Dancing On Ice would bottled it!’ and has also hosted be lethal! I’m bound his own gameshow, to be the one that You Bet! He’s even ended up with a lifebeen brave enough to enter the changing injury – I can trip murky world of reality television, over nothing, so with skates being sent to the jungle for a on it would be a disaster!’ series of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! in 2002 and Darren Day will appear as getting through to the final of Reverend Moore in Footloose Celebrity Big Brother in 2016. The Musical once theatres And Darren hasn’t ruled out across the UK reopen. joining the line-up for Strictly The show is due to play at Come Dancing either. ‘I did get Manchester Opera House from asked to do Strictly a few years 5th to 10th October, at Wales ago, and I basically bottled it!’ he Millennium Centre in Cardiff admits. ‘I think that because I’ve from 19th to 24th October and at the Regent Theatre in Stoke done so much musical theatre everyone would expect me to be from 9th to 14th November. quite good, but honestly I’ve got Keep an eye on Shire for details May/June 2020 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 23

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Stay home, stay safe, stay Shire Who could have predicted when we started planning this edition of Shire that by the time it came to send it to the printers, the only topic on everyone’s minds would be the coronavirus? The Covid-19 crisis has had a significant impact on all our lives, so there isn’t really anything else we could cover this issue. This is the story of how a virus changed the world in a matter of weeks


Nearly one million people watched Joe Wicks’ YouTube PE lesson live on 24th March 2020 – a Guinness World Record for a workout live stream


n our previous edition of Shire, we were full of the joys of spring and looking forward to the summer ahead with all the long days it promised. Little did we know. There is not a single one of us who has not had their lives turned upside down in one way or another over the past couple of months, and we hope that you are able to stay safe and look forward to a time when the world starts to recover from what has been the biggest event of most of our lives. There is no doubt it has been – and still is – a frightening time. Shocking death rates and infection statistics occupy daily briefings and headlines, while hospitals and medical services continue to be swamped by demand. But the human race is incredibly resilient and able to adapt. In the words of the Queen when she addressed the nation in April, ‘We will succeed and better days will come.’ It is crucial, however, that we all do what we can to make sure this success comes as soon as possible. So first and foremost, Shire would like to reiterate the vital government advice to the public:

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Stay home unless it is absolutely necessary. You should only leave the house… • to travel for work, if you really can’t work from home • to shop for essential items – as infrequently as possible, but without stockpiling • for medical reasons • to help others in need • to take exercise (once a day) • to take children of key workers to and from school/childcare • to take children of separated parents to and from homes

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T 3 4 5 6 7 8

Do not meet up with friends, family or anyone else you do not live with. Stay at least two metres away from anyone else when outside the home. If you experience any of the symptoms of Covid-19 (see panel, right) isolate yourself for at least seven days, and until symptoms have stopped. If anyone in your household experiences any of the symptoms, isolate yourself for 14 days. Wash your hands frequently and for 20 seconds each time. Make sure you wash your hands as soon as you come in from outside. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw it in the bin immediately. If you don’t have a tissue to hand, sneeze into the crook of your elbow.

9 10

Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose or mouth with your hands.


Know the symptoms

It is vital we all know what is specified as a symptom of coronavirus so we know how to react and when to self isolate or seek further medical advice. These are the government guidelines on what to look out for: ● A high temperature

Clean and disinfect any household surfaces that are touched often.

These guidelines are current as this edition goes to print, but are subject to change at any time. Please follow the most current government advice and together we can all be part of the recovery from this insidious disease that has touched all our lives. Over the next few pages we want to help you, our readers, through this difficult time. We have practical advice for individuals, families and communities, but we also want to focus on the positive and lift your spirits by celebrating some of the amazing things local people and businesses have done in the face of this adversity.

● A new, persistent cough

There are other, less common symptoms that some people have experienced, but these are the symptoms we have been advised to act on. If you experience either, do not go to your GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Use the NHS online services. Only if your symptoms worsen or you cannot get online, call 111. If your situation is life-threatening or you are facing an emergency, call 999.

May/June 2020 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 25

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H M O Lockdown living

Adapting to restrictions on our everyday movements can be tough, but the following advice should help


e have all come to know the challenges living a life in lockdown brings and, for some, the opportunities. And perhaps the worst part is that we have no real idea how long it will last. Here are some of the ways we can all cope with the dramatic change to our lifestyles while keeping our physical, mental and emotional health in order.


It’s tempting to throw the old routine out of the window in times like this. Why set the alarm when there’s no work to get up for? Why get dressed when there’s no one to see you? But humans thrive on routine, and having a sense or order in our lives helps us to feel more in control of a situation that is largely out of our control. Make sure your days don’t blend into your evenings and nighttimes. Following a structure will help you feel more organised and on top of things, and as a result more mentally able to cope. Having said that, we are all dealing with a lot at the moment so it is also vital not to be too hard on yourself. If you have a sleepless night, allow yourself a lie-in. And sure – if you want to have a pyjama day, treat yourself. Just don’t let it become the new normal or you will start to lose a sense of purpose.


One of the main challenges for our mental health at a time like this is the brain’s natural reaction to frightening situations – ‘fight or flight’. This happens chemically, in the form of hormones being triggered and released, and was undoubtedly very handy when we needed to escape invading hordes or run from an erupting volcano. It is less useful, however, when our fear is sparked by something on the news and we are not allowed to leave the house. Try to distract your mind from its natural response by concentrating on the things you can react to in a more calm way. In order to avoid constant battles with those sharing your lockdown space, accept that your feelings are entirely natural and that you can understand them and choose not to respond to them. Psychologists advise that the best way to deal with how you’re feeling is to first accept why you are feeling the way you are.


It may seem obvious, but sitting around worrying about things all day won’t do you any good. At the time of writing, the goverment is allowing – even advising – everyone to get out for some exercise once a day and we really recommend that you take up this opportunity. Not only does a walk, run or bike ride offer a much needed change of scene, exercise itself produces more hormones – this time ones that make us feel good. For those vulnerable people who are advised to not to leave their homes at all, staying physically and mentally busy is still good for the body and soul. Now is the perfect time to learn a new skill, practise a language, write a novel or finish that master’s degree. If you don’t have access to the internet, perhaps you now have time to finish those niggling jobs around the home and garden, or that 1,500-piece jigsaw you put to the back of that cupboard.



Regular exercise can reduce stress and symptoms of mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety

Human contact is part of the very fabric of our society. Being deprived of it is hard, but we’re lucky to live at a time when there are so many other ways to keep in touch. We can still shout to neighbours, post letters to grandparents and send cards to celebrate special occasions. And for day-to-day communication, smartphones and internet access have transformed how we keep in touch. Many of us will already have had a family quiz night on Zoom, a work meeting on Microsoft Teams, regular WhatsApp chats with friends and even FaceTime date nights. The technology is there, so use it – we need each other in tough times and this should be no exception.

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School’s out Home learning is in... The closure of schools had a huge impact on the lives of many families across the country, turning parents across the UK into temporary teachers. Here are some tips to help everyone through testing times


y the time all UK schools were shut in late March, we all knew it was coming, but that didn’t mean we were ready for it. For some parents, teaching their children at the kitchen table was embraced with enthusiasm. For others, who were perhaps now working full-time from home themselves, or who didn’t have the room, internet access or headspace to take on the role of substitute teacher, it has been far from an easy ride. In the main, however, schools have set our children up well for the task in hand and most families have accepted that while not everything will get done and standards may not necessarily be what they would have been in school, as long as some effort is being made then children’s learning will recover. Most parents, especially of younger children, are happy to find some form of routine in order to keep to some normality and help with the eventual return to school, and some level of activity to keep children busy. Luckily there has been an endless stream

of help on hand. Workout guru Joe Wicks has kept millions of families fit via YouTube, bouncing their way into the day at 9am, while David Walliams has offered an audio story every day at 11am. Carol Vorderman is helping with maths homework, and Jamie Oliver’s vow to help the nation ‘keep cooking and carry on’ has kept GCSE food students busy in the kitchen. Whether you want to put your faith in your children’s own school curriculum and the online support they have, or hand the reins to a celebrity your offspring might pay more attention to, the message to parents is clear – you are not teachers, you are not expected to be and you are not alone.


Running out of ideas?

Entertainment in containment

If your creative reserves are being tested, try this advice from parenting and childcare portal Yoopies

Toy retailer The Entertainer has put together a useful guide to keeping children busy…

Keep in mind that you are a parent and not an entertainer. While structured and organised activities are undoubtedly important, there are also benefits of allowing your children to create their own fun. Skills such as independence, leadership and communication come from autonomous play. Set your children fun projects such as putting on a show for Mum and Dad. Don’t put pressure on yourself. Try to schedule in an organised fun activity with your children where you can. This could be something simple such as watching a movie together, baking, dancing, drawing or reading a story. Sit down with your children for a chat about their feelings and thoughts. Children, particularly younger ones, won’t be looking for dazzling acts of entertainment but for attention and love. Out of inspiration? Create an ‘I’m Bored Jar’. Write fun activities on pieces of paper and place them in the jar. When your children say ‘I’m bored’ they can take an activity from the jar.

The Entertainer, which has branches in Wrexham, Llandudno and Broughton in north Wales, as well as Chester, Northwich, Cheshire Oaks, Shrewsbury and Telford, has launched a Boredom Busting Hub to keep little people busy at this difficult time. Among the resources it has made available for parents and children are the following: ● Activity sheets ● Colouring sheets ● Mazes ● Dot-to-dot ● Spot the difference ● Word searches All the activities will be regularly updated and can be found at There is also a group on Facebook, and The Entertainer is hoping that subscribers will add to it with their own ideas and photos.

May/June 2020 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 27

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Local legends A

mong the difficulties of the past few months, there have also been many tales of good deeds and people going above and beyond in the face of crisis. We want to celebrate those heroes who have made the difficult times a little bit easier to bear, and done so much for others in their time of need. Our key workers are deserving of all our praise all the time, and are simply too numerous to list here. Not because they don’t deserve a mention but because we are lucky enough to be surrounded by so many health and care professionals, teachers, service providers, delivery drivers, food producers, shop staff members and other essential workers that we simply don’t have the room to name them all. If you’re one of them please give yourself a huge clap – and not just at 8pm on a Thursday. We know there are many other people whose acts of kindness will go unnoticed or who will prefer to hide in anonymity, but these are just a few of the local individuals and organisations that we at Shire think deserve a shout-out.

Staff from Thomas Adams School in Wem, Shropshire, have set themselves up to make 100 face shields a day in the school’s design and technology department (pictured left). The first batch is heading to the respiratory ward at Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital, to whom the school has also donated more than 60 pairs of safety glasses and science goggles. Another Shropshire school, the Marches School in Oswestry, has also donated PPE equipment including science goggles, as has the science department at West Kirby Grammar School, which has joined forces with neighbouring Calday Grange Grammar School on the Wirral to produce more PPE. The DT department at Bishop Heber High School, meanwhile, has been making visors that have been sent to the Wrexham Maelor Hospital and Laurel Bank GP surgery in Malpas. It’s not only educational establishments that have joined the fight against this virus; so have individuals. Particular credit should go to 14-year-old Martha Hursthouse from West Kirby on the Wirral (pictured below). The keen young seamstress heard through a family friend about a company called Jenkinsons, which delivers essential supplies to hospitals without having any protective equipment themselves. Martha took to her sewing machine and promptly turned a sheet into a collection of safety masks. ‘We’re involved in supplying essential furniture to field hospitals such as the new Nightingale North West in Manchester, but we were struggling to find protective equipment for our delivery teams,’ says Jenkinsons’ director Adam Mills. ‘That’s when Martha stepped in and decided to make what we needed.’



Numerous organisations across the Shire region have stepped in to help produce much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) for the emergency services. Coleg Cambria has been using its 3D printers to produce safety visors and face masks for NHS staff and frontline workers. Assistant principal and director of technology Nick Tyson and engineering technology instructor Len Robinson have been hard at work at the college’s University Centre in Deeside. Using equipment and materials they have at their disposal, the pair have been able to support the NHS by creating more than 50 visors a day. The same spirit has been adopted at many schools and colleges armed with similar equipment, including a team from Ellesmere College that has been putting the school’s equipment to use in the fight against Covid-19 by making more than 1,000 essential face shields for Shropshire hospital and hospice workers. By the beginning of April, the design and technology team had already self-funded and donated 200 face shields to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Severn Hospice (pictured left). They aim to join with other schools who have supported Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital and will help others that need their help due to PPE shortages. ‘We wanted to find a way to help the frontline heroes who are putting themselves at risk every day to help others – and do our bit in the battle against Covid-19,’ says Matthew Horton, head of design technology at Ellesmere College. ‘Concerns have been raised over a lack of PPE to protect key workers, so we’ve made use of our laser cutter to manufacture visors for them.’


When times are tough, people step up to prove the world really isn’t so bad after all. Shire would like to say a great big thank you to some of those in our area

ANIMAL MAGIC While most have been focused on looking after the people affected by the coronavirus, dedicated teams across the Shire patch have been making sure that not only is our animal population cared for but that we are still able to enjoy the animals’ antics. Chester Zoo has been hosting live tours of its facilities to entertain those in lockdown. The virtual tours feature close-up videos of the zoo’s menagerie of animals, including Asian elephants, butterflies and penguins, with a zookeeper sharing interesting facts on different animals every hour. Local bird-box makers at CJ Wildlife in Shropshire, meanwhile, have been presenting a season of live nestbox webcams. Viewers can take a front-row seat to watch the nesting and rearing routines of some fantastic species from

28 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2020

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Chester Zoo has over 35,000 animals from aardvarks to zebras, including some rarely seen in UK zoos such as sun bears and tree wallabies

their own homes. The team has 12 nestbox webcams from owls, peregrines, kestrels, storks, spoonbills, garden birds and more, and even its first tawny owl chick. The cameras are live 24/7 and are equipped with night vision so you don’t miss a thing. There is always something to see, be it an owlet having lunch, a new egg waiting, some adorable preening and even tantrums!

FOOD HEROES Hope House Hospice in Oswestry was thrilled when Lord Newborough recently delivered cakes, bread, milk and eggs from the Rhug Estate. Lord Newborough wanted to find a good home for stock due to customers cancelling their orders or closing down. ‘I am thrilled that we found a good cause to donate this food to,’ he says. ‘Something positive has come out of customers cancelling their orders or closing down.’ The Rhug Estate is also helping those who are following government orders to stay at home by continuing its online shop and home delivery service for as long as it possibly can. A special mention must also go to the Soul Kitchen group based in Chester. The volunteer-based organisation normally supports and feeds people experiencing loneliness, food poverty or homelessness every Saturday at Campbell Hall in Chester; the arrival of the coronavirus changed that, but didn’t change the group’s dedication. Thanks to some help from chef Gary Usher (pictured below), who rallied many other Chester independent restaurants and their suppliers, they have been urgently supplying meals for those who are homeless but in temporary accommodation in Chester. On several occasions, more than 70 people a night were fed amazing food, thanks to – among others – Sticky Walnut, Chip’d, Chef ’s Table, Joseph Benjamin, Sweet Elements, The Suburbs, Atina Kitchen, Death by Tacos, Da Noi, Meltdown and Covino. Many local food outlets have turned to delivery services to keep up the supply of fresh produce to local customers. There are countless farm shops, butchers, grocers and dairies that deserve our praise for adapting


their services to meet the needs of people in lockdown. We can’t name them all here, but luckily one organisation has created a simple tool to help you find a food delivery option near you. Your Local Delivered is a free online platform that allows people who are in isolation and at high risk from Covid-19 to search local businesses that are delivering in their area. Listings of pubs, restaurants, pharmacies, bakeries, butchers and more are available at the click of a mouse to service housebound communities with great-quality local produce. For more information see


The clamour for hand sanitiser has been apparent to all of us during this virus, but one local company has used its special skills to create its own. Shropshire distillery Henstone has switched production from spirits to hand sanitiser in a bid to help the county’s hospitals during the coronavirus outbreak. The team, based in Oswestry, has been using the alcohol it has to make the in-demand hand wash for the Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust, Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital and local care homes. For the time being, the distillery has halted production of alcoholic drinks to focus on producing bottles of hand sanitiser. After seeing a number of posts on social media regarding the shortages of the cleansing gel, the distillery tracked down the ingredients listed on the World Health Organisation’s website. ‘We just wanted to do what we can to help NHS staff during these difficult times,’ says Allison Parr, one of Henstone Distillery’s directors. ‘They’re working absolutely tirelessly in really tough circumstances, so we’re thrilled that we can help in some way. We’ve had to get around a fair bit of red tape to ensure we’re legally allowed to do this, but HMRC changed the rules which means we can do this without paying duty on the alcohol.’

May/June 2020 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 29

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Love in lockdown


Glamour magazine’s recent list of top date night movies included About Time, Home Again, Baby Driver, Adventureland and The Gift


The current situation may not be a romantic one, but there are ways of keeping love alive in these difficult circumstances


tudies have revealed that many people are making the most of the enforced extra time they have with their other halves, with 49 per cent of those polled believing it will bring them closer to their partner – because self-isolation means they will have more quality time together. Two thirds of those living with their partner are now with their other half more than usual owing to social distancing, self-isolation or working from home. And while 57 per cent previously struggled to be together due to busy work and family schedules, 74 per cent believe they will now have more quality time. As a result, 49 per cent think it will bring them and their partner closer together in the long run. More than two thirds of those polled even believe there will be a baby boom in nine months as couples have the time to reconnect with each other. Almost four in 10 went as far as to say being ‘stuck’ at home with their partner will have a positive impact on their relationship. As people avoid pubs, bars and restaurants, 43 per cent of couples polled via OnePoll are turning to ‘at home’ date nights as they try to keep the spark alive in their relationship. Watching a film together is considered the most popular way to spend time together at home, along with having a homecooked meal, a few drinks and a good old conversation.

Top 10 things that make up the ideal home date night, according to the OnePoll survey 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Watching a film together (57%) A home-cooked meal (56%) Some alcoholic drinks (43%) Conversation (41%) Cuddles on the sofa (40%) Sex (36%) Music (26%) Bingeing on box sets (24%) Playing games (24%) A social media and gadget ban (13%)

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Neighbourhood niceties

We know the experience of this pandemic has been traumatic for many – but at the same time it has given a much-needed boost to many of our communities. Restricted to staying local, we’ve all learned to appreciate those on our doorsteps in recent weeks


umerous surveys have found that coronavirus is bringing communities together – with a quarter of adults saying that since lockdown they have talked to neighbours they previously had no relationship with. One poll of 2,000 adults, carried out by, found 64 per cent of people believe Covid-19 is bringing their neighbourhood closer together. Many people are carrying out acts of kindness they wouldn’t have done before, with three in 10 checking in on elderly relatives and another 23 per cent getting in touch with a vulnerable neighbour to offer help. And one third of people have also offered to get shopping and essentials for a relative or neighbour who is unable to leave the house.


As well as clapping every Thursday at 8pm, share #clapforourcarers on social media and print out posters at www.clapfor


Others have started donating to foodbanks (13 per cent), volunteered for charities or local groups (10 per cent) or shopped from small or local businesses instead of large chains (28 per cent).


The survey also revealed more than four in 10 people say their street or community has set up a group to help those who are unable to go out due to being elderly, vulnerable or in self-isolation. ‘The coronavirus crisis might be causing stress and fear but it has also kick-started a wave of kindness around the country,’ says’s Siobhan Freegard. ‘People are putting politics and other divisions behind them to concentrate on helping each other and bringing their communities back together. By sticking together and supporting those around us, we can hopefully make the uncertain weeks and months ahead a little easier.’


Now that the only people we see on a regular basis are those who live near us, it has encouraged a stronger community feeling. Other acts too are helping bring people together – whether it is standing together as a society to clap for key workers and frontline staff every week, holding a weekly dance and singalong in the street or decorating houses with rainbows to lift the spirits of passing children – and as a result many of us have rediscovered an appreciation for the people nearest to us even if they are not always those dearest to us. Perhaps once this pandemic is over, we will remember that we are surrounded by other people and that we can find that comforting when times are hard. After all, Shire is a local magazine that celebrates and embraces all that is wonderful about our patch – so long may this increased community spirit continue. 32 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2020

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Oswestry’s Orthopaedic Hospital health news RJAH staff put skills to use in the fight against Covid-19 Hospital team creates protective visors for community care settings


rthotics makers at Shropshire’s specialist orthopaedic hospital have turned their skills to PPE, producing hundreds of face visors to support care homes and hospices with the Covid-19 response. The orthotics production and manufacturing team at the Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) in Oswestry usually make a wide range of devices, called orthoses, to help patients with mobility issues. But those skills are now being utilised to make visors – a vital piece of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers confronted with people who have coronavirus. And rather than just supporting their colleagues at RJAH, the team are also supporting other care providers near and far. Since production started in mid-April, the team have manufactured and delivered more than 1,000 visors for staff at Hope House Children’s

Members of the RJAH nursing and anaesthetics team underwent training in preparation to support the fight against the coronavirus pandemic

Above RJAH Porters Pete Bright and Christine Lee wearing their PPE

Left The Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries team at RJAH ask the public to stay home to help protect the NHS

Hospice in Oswestry, as well as care and nursing homes in the local area and as a far afield as Lancashire.

National help

The face visors are being made from polycarbonate, cut to shape using the team’s swing arm press cutting device, along with a bespoke, visor-shaped ‘knife’, produced by one of the hospital’s Orthotic Research & Locomotor Assessment Unit (ORLAU) technicians, Matthew Evans-Hardy. ‘We’d seen a number of care homes and hospices on social media appealing for PPE, and we knew we’d be able to help by producing the face visors,’ says Lance Jones, RJAH’s orthotics production and manufacturing manager. ‘It’s a pleasure to help support our local community. It was a real

team effort between our team and our ORLAU colleagues. ‘Although our orthotists are still seeing some patients and we’re still getting some orders through, as well as dealing with repairs, our workload has reduced compared with what it usually is, so it’s great that we’ve got the time to help others in need. ‘So many businesses and organisations, both locally and nationally, are doing their bit to thank but also offer support to the NHS at this time, so as a team it’s great that we’re able to help in our own way.’

Specialist skills

The hospital’s orthotics production and manufacturing team make orthotic devices in their dedicated workshop. These devices correct deformity and

relieve discomfort for patients, with conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and cerebral palsy. They work alongside the trust’s orthotists and podiatrists from the Shropshire Orthopaedic Outreach Service (SOOS), who assess the patients’ needs. The team is one of only five NHS in-house production and manufacturing departments in the country. If you work in a care setting and you and your colleagues would benefit from PPE visors, please contact Lance Jones by calling 01691 404627 or emailing

A thank you to RJAH staff At the time of writing this message, we are still experiencing a period of real uncertainty and challenge, as we respond to the impact of the coronavirus and Covid-19. The NHS has never encountered anything like it. We have never experienced anything like it. Contact with our family and friends is limited, bars and restaurants closed, businesses at threat of sadly going under, travel restrictions in place and schools only open to vulnerable children and children of key workers. We are all anxious about the risk this virus poses to us and our loved ones. Despite this, we – the NHS – do not stop. We respond, we care, we nurse and we carry on. Our frontline can’t look after patients at home during this crisis. I want to take this opportunity to thank all staff at RJAH. Even during these difficult times, everyone remains professional, resilient, calm and committed. Whether you’re on the front line or working from home, thank you for doing your vital bit. Stacey Keegan, acting chief executive, Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital

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Meet the Expert... M Sarah Roberts is lead archivist for the digital and outreach services at North East Wales Archives (Ruthin) When did you become an archivist for Denbighshire?

DID YOU KNOW? 90,000 records were added to NEWA’s online catalogue in 2019

I starting as a newly qualified archivist in June 2010 at what was then known as Denbighshire Record Office. I became joint manager in 2016, taking specific responsibility for digital aspects of the service including website development, electronic catalogues/databases and social media. Denbighshire Record Office became Denbighshire Archives and then in April this year became North East Wales Archives (NEWA), merging with our neighbouring service at Flintshire. The Ruthin branch is based at Ruthin Gaol, a Grade II listed Pentonville-style prison that closed in 1916. We have four staff including myself, another lead archivist and two archive assistants.

What qualifications are required?

I studied history at the University of Liverpool, graduating in 2006, and I knew I wanted to pursue a career in something connected to my degree. I first encountered archives while studying for my undergraduate dissertation, but wasn’t until after I graduated that I started to consider the archive world as a possible career. I applied for a postgraduate course at the University of Liverpool and graduated with a master’s in archives and records management in 2010, which involved studying the theory of record-keeping, palaeography and business records.

What is contained within the North East Wales Archives?

The Archives hold a variety of collections, which can be made up of handwritten records – which in our case date back to as early as the 12th century – or printed material such as newspapers or images such as prints or photographs. We also take in digital material such as digital photographs and electronic documents. We store a diverse range of records, including public records (eg hospital, court and coroners records), county council records (eg borough and district council records), Quarter Sessions records, school

records, church and chapel records, estate records and workhouse records. Our highlights include records of the Yorke family of Erddig and mental health records of the North Wales Hospital in Denbigh, which are among the most comprehensive examples of asylum records in the country. The archive collections are always growing and on average, over the past couple of years, we have accepted around 100 new deposits each year.

Ruthin Gaol Courtyard, now used to store records of North East Wales Archives

Electoral register, 1923

Thousands of boxes of archives are stored on site at Ruthin Gaol

What does a typical working week entail? Supervising volunteers,

cataloguing and indexing records, supervision of researchers using archives in the search room, answering enquiries over phone or email, applying for grants and updating social media and websites.

Sarah Roberts repackages collections

What kind of requests do you receive at the archive? Can you help trace family trees? A

large proportion of our enquiries come from people carrying out research on their own house, town or family. House historians often want to know if we hold deeds, plans or photographs of their property, and we can help them with electoral registers dating back to as early as 1832 for some areas, census records and estate collections. Family historians (genealogists) frequently ask questions about where their ancestors married, went to school or worked. We can provide access to church and chapel registers, which provide evidence of baptism, marriage and burial. We also have free access to family history websites like Ancestry and Find My Past at our offices. We’re also witnessing a new interest in DNA testing and the potential that brings to locate long-lost relatives.

How can readers view the archives? Both offices – Ruthin and Hawarden – are open to the public and there is no charge to come in and view documents in person. You can search the catalogue and pre-book by either visiting our websites or phoning the offices. You will need to bring two forms of ID with your signature and address on your first visit.

How can people get involved?

Volunteers work with us on a number of projects, including typing up lists of collections, listing uncatalogued and previously unseen collections, and digitising old photographs. We’re also in the process of applying for a National Lottery Heritage Horizons Award to build a new archive next to Theatr Clwyd in Mold. If that is application is successful, there will be new opportunities to prepare and repackage collections ready for the move. People can contact us (see right) to express interest.

Patient records from the North Wales Hospital in Denbigh

‘The Painted Book’, a volume of hand-painted heraldic designs from the 16th century

A sealed document

Denbigh Borough Charter, which was granted by Henry VIII dated 26th March 1510

CONTACT DETAILS North East Wales Archives (Ruthin) 46 Clwyd Street, Ruthin LL15 1HP 01824 708250 North East Wales Archives (Hawarden) The Old Rectory, Rectory Lane, Hawarden CH5 3NN 01244 532364

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Northfield Holiday Park Celebrating

our 75th

7 nights self-catering from £150

Anniversary in 2020

Bring a pet for just £25

Call us on 01970 871464

We always have a wide selection of high quality holiday homes for sale.

Set in the Snowdonia National Park and only two miles from Conwy. Stunning sea and mountain views.

A Great Location to explore North Wales.

Call today on 01286 830205 to find your perfect home away from home.

Trwyn yr Wylfa Caravan & Camping Site

Penmaenmawr, Conwy ,North Wales LL346YF 01492650672 email:


6 8 5 2 0 9 M : 0 78 6 0 8 4 3 3

www.haw klake.


Shire Magazine, the No.1 magazine

for holiday parks throughout Wales, Cheshire and Shropshire.

We have 5 touring pitches each with a hook up and on hard standing, as well as 45 static caravan pitches.

Set beside Hawk Lake in the grounds of Hawkstone Park, this Caravan Park is great for a peaceful getaway. Close to the historic town of Shrewsbury, and in the heart of Shropshire, we are ideally located for exploring Shropshire and Mid Wales. We offer both Day and Season Fishing on Hawk Lake. The lake has a selection of fish, from big Carp up to 30lb, to Roach, Perch, Bream, Tench, Rudd and Pike. If it’s the Shropshire wildlife that you like, the lake is home to Kingfishers, Herons, Water Voles and Woodpeckers. Much of the lakeside is perfectly walkable, and there are places to sit and enjoy your surroundings in peace. Hawk Lake Caravan Park, North Lodge, Hawkstone Park, Marchamley, Nr Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY4 5GE

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Get in touch now or simply call (01691) 661 270

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e know a lot of people have already had holiday plans thrown into chaos this year, so once we’re free to move about again many of us will be desperate for a change of scenery and keen to get away from it all. Plan ahead and take a look at some of the local options we should all support as soon as we can. Many will have great deals around for last-minute trips and no doubt all of them will be very happy to welcome back holidaymakers after such a tough time.


oetre Retreat Caravan Park is a small, quiet family-run park in the heart of beautiful mid Wales. If you’re looking for a peaceful, relaxing destination where you can relax and unwind, look no further! The site is located on the banks of the River Mule in Powys, halfway between the pretty villages of Abermule and Kerry, while Newtown and Welshpool are both just a short Dog owners are welcome drive away. Whether you prefer country pursuits or simply taking life easy, the Goetre Retreat is the perfect setting for your countryside home from home. It is centrally situated close to the Shropshire border, with easy access to well-known walks including Offa’s Dyke and the Kerry

All caravans enjoy stunning views

Ridgeway, as well giving you the chance to explore the sites of the Shropshire borders including the Stiperstones, Carding Mill Valley and the Long Mynd. Nearby are the ‘A peaceful, reservoirs and relaxing dams of Lake Vyrnwy, Clywedog destination and the Elan where you Valley, which all can relax offer breathtaking and unwind’ views of the countryside and are of special interest to birdwatchers. Fishing, golfing, cycling and horse riding are available within the area,

Each plot has its own parking space

and for those who enjoy nothing more than a breath of country air, there is plenty available within the park itself for everyone – plus you’re just an hour’s drive from the coast of west Wales. Picturesque Lake Vyrnwy is nearby

For more information, visit



here’s one route that is at the top of the list for many ramblers visiting the Welsh borders and that’s the Kerry Ridgeway. One of the oldest routes in Wales, it was once used by drovers to drive livestock out of Wales into England. It wa last used in this way some 150 years ago, and today it is an excellent walk that – as its name suggests – uses a generally high ground route along a ridge, providing wonderful views of the surrounding border countryside across two counties as it links Powys with Shropshire. The ancient pathway forges a 15-mile route through heather moors, woodlands and bilberry-rich heaths from Cider House Farm near the village of Kerry in Powys to Bishop’s Castle in Shropshire. The ridgeway is a mix of country road, trackway and bridleway across fields and is suitable for walking, cycling and horse riding. The Bishops Castle path never dips below 1,000ft above sea level, resulting in remarkable views in all directions. On a fine, clear day you can see 70 miles.

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f you’re looking for a holiday at a relaxed pace this summer, you’re unlikely to find a more chilledout option than sitting back and watching the world drift by on board a Cheshire Cat narrowboat. The small family-run firm is based at the award-winning Overwater Marina on the Shropshire Union Canal at Audlem, and the team aim to ensure that you have a truly memorable and enjoyable holiday experience from the moment you arrive. Expert tuition is provided to set you on your way with confidence, including a practical demonstration of working through locks. Celebrate on the water The experts can also suggest a choice of suitable routes and tell you all about the amazing scenery, cosy pubs and historic architecture you’re likely to see along the way. Throughout your holiday, free friendly advice is always just a phone call away. Your floating holiday will ensure your comfort throughout your break. All boats, which range from two to eight berths, have central heating, flushing toilets and hot and cold running water. The fully

equipped galley has a hob, grill, oven and fridge, as well as ample crockery, cutlery and kitchenware. All bedding is provided and everyone ‘All the from beginners narrowboats to expert sailors is welcome. have central Cheshire Cat heating, Narrowboats flushing toilets has boats and hot and available for both cold running weekend and day water’ hire, as well as longer holidays. There are always special offer to be found, and the recent difficulties may

Boats range from two to eight berths

lead to some last-minute offers too so it’s always worth checking what’s available at Cheshire Cat Narrowboats. For more information, visit

RELAX ON THE WATERWAYS A nother great relaxing holiday on the waterways, whether you’re an experienced canal boater or a complete novice, can be found at Anglo Welsh Waterway Holidays, which has a fleet of beautiful boats. The highly qualified team will take you through everything you need to know to operate a canal boat; once your handover is complete you can set off on your very own narrowboat adventure, travelling at your own pace, watching out for wildlife and stopping off to enjoy canalside pubs and exploring villages, towns and cities along your route. Whether you want to test the waters on a relaxing route suitable for beginners, or take a longer more

Anglo Welsh has 10 hire bases


Expert tuition is provided

Short and long breaks are available

challenging holiday on one of the many canal barge holiday circuits, Anglo Welsh can help you decide what would work best for you. It has 160 luxury narrowboats available from 10 bases across England and Wales, including Whixall Marina in Shropshire. The boats range in size from 32ft to 70ft, providing accommodation for between two and 12 people. On board you’ll find all the home comforts, including bedding, towels, central heating, flushing toilets, showers, a TV/DVD player, WiFi and a well-equipped kitchen with an oven, fridge, cooking utensils and crockery.


f you do take to the water this summer, there’s plenty to see and do along the way. One great place to include in your route, which is easily accessible from across the Shire patch, is the Hurleston Locks, where the Llangollen Canal meets the Shropshire Union Canal. The canals run through stunning scenery at Hurleston and there are plenty of interesting canal features to see, inlcuding a series of complicated locks. A roving bridge carries the towpath over the canal just to the south of the junction and immediately after it, the Llangollen Canal rises through four locks that raise the level of the canal 34ft. To the north of the locks is Hurleston Reservoir, which is filled with water that passes along the canal from the Horseshoe Falls at Llantysilio. The waterways provide habitats that attract all sorts of wildlife, including dragonflies, kingfishers, water voles and even otters. There there is also a great ice cream shop nearby, Snugburys.

For more information, visit

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Welcome to the world of canal boat holidays with one of the largest canal boat hire companies in the UK, Anglo Welsh Waterway Holidays. With 50 years experience, over 160 narrow boats and a reputation for providing luxury, high quality, exceptional value narrow boat holidays, we look forward to introducing you to thousands of miles of beautiful canals and rivers in England and Wales.

Ask about available plots on


of Caravan Parks in North Wales & Cheshire

WWW.ANGLOWELSH.CO.UK - 0117 304 1122

Essential CICERONE guides




Your Dream,Your Lifestyle!



Find your next holiday home at: Lloyds Caravan & Lodge Sales Towyn Rd, Towyn, North Wales, LL22 9NW 01745 350 043 or Pensarn, Abergele, LL22 7PW 01745 832 050

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PUT A SPRING IN YOUR STEP If you’ve enjoyed going out walking every day during lockdown, once restrictions are lifted you may want to think about joining a local walking group to make it a social event


arious schemes have been launched to get more people into the habit of walking around Shropshire, including the Walking for Health initiative. Organisers offer a weekly programme of short walks from 15 venues around Telford on different days and at various times. The walks range in duration from 30 to 90 minutes, so they are easy to fit in, and you can join any walk. The groups are welcoming, supportive and friendly, and you Walk for good mental health can get in touch by email at info@ or visit Telford Ramblers also offers a Short & Social walk on the first Thursday of every month. These are more leisurely walks of around five miles, and start and end at a local pub or café with the chance to stay for lunch at the end. Depending on the location of the walk, there is sometimes the option to meet at Sainsbury’s at the Forge Retail Park, Telford, to car share to the start of the walk. Again, the emphasis is on enjoying a walk and they’re a great way to get out and about. For more information about Telford Ramblers’ full programme of walks visit

FIND YOUR PERFECT PATH After a period of confinement we’re confident everyone will be looking forward to getting out and about as soon as they can. Our columnist, rambler Clive Williams, suggests taking a scenic route…


DID YOU KNOW? There are more than 5,500km of public rights of way in Shropshire alone

inffordd Path is one of Wales’s most and footwear, have a map and compass, scenic walking routes and a must-do if and are walking to an ability that suits you you’re heading up Cader Idris. It’s the perfect – this is graded a hard/strenuous walk. complement to the Precipice Walk that we covered in the March/April Getting started ‘It starts issue, as both are near Dolgellau, a The best starting point is the Dôl as a steep, great base for walking and cycling. Idris car park off the junction of the wooded trail There two good routes to the B4405 and A487 (postcode LL36 with lots of 2,850ft summit of Cader Idris (the 9AJ). There is a toilet here, and an waterfalls’ third, Fox’s Path, is unsafe and best information board pointing you in the avoided). Pony Path, the longer of right direction (as well as providing a the two, is a steady climb; Minffordd number of shorter, colour-coded walks). Path is quieter, shorter and steeper, and makes On leaving the car park you’ll pass the Ty for a rewarding and scenic mountain hike. Te Cadair Tea Room and then start the path, As always, take the weather conditions into which at this point is a steep, wooded trail account before venturing into the mountains. with lots of waterfalls (take care as it can Also ensure you are wearing sensible clothing be slippery). You’ll soon find yourself in the heart of the mountains with breathtaking views, and it’s worth taking the time to stop and enjoy the peace and tranquillity. On the way to the summit you’ll also bag the summit of Craig Cwm Amarch, where you can look down on the crystal clear waters of Llyn Cau before making the final push to the top of Cader Idris. Once you reach the summit, the views are very rewarding. The route can be circular or linear – whichever you choose it will be worth it. For more detail of this walk, visit Enjoy stunning views at the summit walking/mountain-walks/minffordd-path.

GREAT GUIDES Mountain Walking Snowdonia

A guide to 40 of Snowdonia’s best day walks, with routes up Snowdon and Tryfan, including the Snowdon Horseshoe, Cader Idris, Y Garn and The Rhinogs. The routes range from grade 1 scrambles such as Crib Goch or Bristly Ridge, to riverside and forest walks. Includes details of a two-day traverse of all 15 of Snowdonia’s 3,000ft peaks. Price £13.46

Walking The Snowdonia Way

A comprehensive guide to the Snowdonia Way, a long-distance route that takes you through Snowdonia National Park from Machynlleth to Conwy. The low-level route of 97 miles (in six to eight stages) includes Pass of Aberglaslyn, Ogwen Valley and Aber Falls, while the mountain route of 122 miles in nine stages includes Cader Idris, Snowdon and Glyders. Price £13.46 Visit

May/June 2020 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 41

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ONCE IT’S SCONE, IT’S SCONE David Cox, head chef at the events and wedding venue Iscoyd Park in Wrexham, shares his thoughts on a classic summer snack – and one of his favourite recipes

Ingredients (makes approx 15)


he scone: so simple and yet something everyone has an opinion about – fruit or no fruit, jam first or last… the list goes on and on. Over the years I’ve made hundreds, including those with different flours or no egg. But I believe the recipe here offers the best of both worlds: a scone that is crumbly on the outside and soft and light inside – and, most importantly, not too sweet. The history of the scone dates back to the early 1500s. The first records indicate that the Scottish invented an oat-style bread that was griddled. Scones

became an essential part of the fashionable ritual of taking tea in Victorian England when the Duchess of Bedford ordered her servants to bring tea and sweet breads one late afternoon. She loved it so much she ordered the same every afternoon, and the English ‘tea time’ was born. I prefer to serve scones warm, with a large amount of cream followed by jam. They’re also great crumbled into a raspberry ripple ice cream, or you can add cheese and mustard and serve with poached eggs for a different take on brunch.

DID YOU KNOW? You can say ‘scowne’ or ‘scon’ – either is correct!

500g plain flour 25g baking powder 115g butter 85g sugar 2 eggs 150g buttermilk 1 tub clotted cream Strawberry preserve (available from any good farmers’ market)

Method 1. Mix the flour, baking powder, butter and sugar to a fine crumb. 2. Slowly add the eggs and buttermilk, and mix until a smooth dough (around five minutes). 3. Bring the dough together. 4. Roll out to a thickness of 2-3cm. 5. Cut and lightly egg wash. 6. Leave it for 15-20 minutes, then reglaze with the egg wash. 7. Bake at 165-170°C (gas mark 3) for 10-12 minutes until cooked. 8. Cool until warm and enjoy with strawberry preserve and clotted cream.

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SCREW IT! Sentimental pining for corks in our wine bottles has to stop, says Pip Gale of Gale’s Wine Bar in Llangollen

FOOD & DRINK: XMAS SPECIAL attended a tasting in Waipara (at a winery whose name I’m afraid I have forgotten). The entire range was available with both screw cap and cork, and we were able to blind taste, compare and pick a favourite. In all but one case I preferred the screw-cap wines. This blew my mind, and since then I have been singing the praises of this type of opening.

Pop goes the… cork?


t’s time for you to give up your love of cork. The traditional form of wine closure is losing its market share – it’s time for everyone to move on. Screw caps, or Stelvin closures, can now be found on more than half of all wines from Australia and New Zealand. In fact, it was in New Zealand that I first discovered people taking the closures seriously. Back in 2001, while working in wine cars in the country, I

Oxygen is the friend and enemy of wine – it releases the flavours in the wine but prolonged exposure will also make the wine less vibrant and, in experimenting with screw caps and the results are fascinating. True, the aged flavour some cases, tainted. Cork is also a holder of a mould called TCA that will make takes longer to come through, but the cleaner the wine undrinkable or ‘corked’. aspect to the age is often preferable. Even in sparkling wines they So why do we still use corks? DID YOU Well, there is an argument that use a bottle top while making it KNOW? and put the cork in afterwards. wine ages better in corked Screw caps for bottles and, with more focus on The trend of having wine aged wine have been quality since demand has gone with the cap and then disgorged around since the 1950s down, this has been considered closer to drinking is the biggest thing in sparkling wine, known the way to go. But recently I as ‘recently disgorged’ or RD. have been trying an increasing I’ll admit that the satisfying pop number of older screw-cap wines and I of a cork and the theatre of using a think I prefer what’s going on here too. corkscrew may be hard to forgo. But Old rieslings under screw cap have been if you have some sort of hankering for some of my most treasured experiences. I cork, you should give it up now. have also seen some older Bordeaux wines


OGGIE, OGGIE, OGGIE! A Denbighshire-based producer is enjoying great success after swapping the world of financial services for pies and pasties


DID YOU KNOW? Oggies were traditionally eaten for lunch by Welsh miners

ive years ago, Ross and Tracey Anderson swapped their jobs in finance and insurance for ‘Since Llangollen Oggie Shop proprietor Ross sausage rolls, and the then Anderson wi th og gie baker Pauline it has couple now run a pie Jones, left, and Lorraine been a shop and delicatessen Hughes of Mega n’s Kitchen in Llangollen. grocer’s, so we’re continuing Among the baked delicacies that keep business booming at the Llangollen Oggie Shop a tradition – and from the start we’ve stocked as much local produce as possible. & Fine Foods on Castle Street is the traditional Welsh delicacy that’s ‘As well as Pauline’s oggies, we have other pies and believed to pre-date the Cornish pasty: the oggie. pastries, while the Welsh cakes and bara brith are made Ross and Tracey can sell hundreds of oggies ‘We are always across the road at Megan’s Kitchen alongside other pastries a day at the height of the summer season when on the lookout tourists flock to the little Denbighshire town by and pies. We also stock other Denbighshire products, for new locally the River Dee with its popular railway and canal. such as Chilly Cow ice cream from the Vale of Clwyd.’ sourced Ross and Tracey employ one other full-time member Since opening the shop, they have seen the business products’ of staff, as well as four part-time staff. ‘In the quiet almost double its turnover, and they attribute its months we can run the shop with just a couple of us,’ success to a commitment to local produce – and the says Ross. ‘But during the summer months we scale up and oggie, made by local baker Pauline Jones, is just one example. Legend has it the oggie was first served to 12th-century builders of basically try to stay open as long as there are people about. St David’s Cathedral in Pembrokeshire, but the Andersons get theirs ‘We’re always on the lookout for new locally sourced products and luckily there seem to be more and more becoming available. fresh every day from Pauline. ‘Our shop was originally an open market We believe it’s great for visitors to experience a taste of the area they site underneath the Town Hall assembly rooms when they were built are visiting, and maybe take some home with them as well.’ in 1867, becoming a shop in 1885,’ says Ross, who is from Llangollen. May/June 2020 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 43

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Cheers to the brewers who saved their local

Jam for victory!

A village pub in Denbighshire has reopened its doors a year after calling last orders thanks to a community effort and a local micro-brewery


ichard and Sue Green expanding network of microof Dovecote Brewery in pubs across north-east Wales. Denbighshire have lived in ‘The effort to reopen the Tremeirchion for over 25 years, Salusbury Arms was led by so they were disappointed when Tremeirchion 2000 community their local pub, the Salusbury organisation, and when the Arms, closed down in 2018 opportunity came to take months ago. But rather than over the licence we were accepting the pub’s fate, they more than happy to step joined a local campaign to save in,’ says Sue. ‘But we had to the historic inn – and now have the backing of and full the pub is a family concern. support of the community, Son Dominic and his partner, and they’ve been brilliant.’ Rhiannon Catania, run front of The chair of Tremeirchion house, Sue is in the 2000, Professor kitchen and Richard Stuart Irvine, says: ‘When the pub brews the beer. ‘We got involved closed it ripped Vale of Clwyd because it’s all very the heart out of MP Chris Ruane well complaining the village. To was a guest as that a pub has have that heart locals celebrated closed but you have back means the relaunch of the to do something so much’ pub at the end of about it. It has the 2019. ‘It’s absolutely whole community fantastic that the Salusbury behind it and there has been Arms has been reopened as a a fantastic community spirit community pub,’ Chris said. here – it has shown what a lot ‘When it closed it ripped the of talent there is in the village. heart out of the village and to ‘There has been great have that heart put back means enthusiasm for the project. so much to the community.’ Pubs are so important for Dovecote Brewery produces villages. Drinking is not the 12 beers at its micro-brewery on primary purpose – it’s about the Colomendy industrial estate coming together to meet and in Denbigh, where there is also chat and providing a facility a taproom for special events. that had been missing from Dovecote is also involved in an the village for over a year.’

Vale of Clwyd MP Chris Ruane to asts the reopening of the Salusbury Arms in Tremeirc hion with gene ral manager Domi nic Green (far lef t), landlady Sue Gr een (with red headscarf) and restaurant mana ger Rhiannon Catan ia (far right)

DID YOU KNOW? You can also find tasty recipes on Mrs Darlington’s website

Mrs Darlington’s launches limited-edition preserves to commemorate VE Day anniversary


amily-owned Cheshire preserve business Darlington & Daughters has launched a limitededition version of its bestselling Strawberry Jam and Legendary Lemon Curd to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day. The Mrs Darlington’s brand was established in 1980 and the company is still run by Marion Darlington and her daughters, Wendy and Sarah. The trio wanted to pay tribute to the soldiers and armed forces who gave so much to the country during the Second World War. They chose the charity SSAFA (formerly known as the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen & Families Association), which provides invaluable support to soldiers and their families, and will be making a donation from every jar sold. VE Day is personally important to the Darlington family. Wendy and Sarah’s Uncle William was one of the many soldiers rescued from the beaches of Dunkirk in 1940. ‘SSAFA is a wonderful charity, close to our family’s hearts, and I know both William and my husband, Tom, would have been delighted for us to offer them support,’ says Marion. Wendy adds: ‘Lemon Curd and Strawberry Jam are our hero products – much loved by families around the country. We hope that by

creating the limited-edition jars we’ll be able to make a small difference in the lives of soldiers and their families, and give something back to the men – like our Uncle William – who gave and continue to give us so much.’ Marion and Tom launched Mrs Darlington’s to use up the excess of eggs they had available from the family farm. Marion created her Legendary Lemon Curd and sold it at local farm shops and country shows. She soon found she couldn’t keep up with demand – even with the help of her daughters, who happily mop-capped the jars after school for pocket money. Tom converted the farm’s barns to create a larger jamproducing kitchen and Mrs Darlington’s was born. Today the family has a range of over 80 products, which are sold in 3,000 independent retailers nationally and internationally. Wendy and Sarah are the hands-on operators of the much-loved brand, which now produces a range of curds, jams, marmalades, pickles, chutneys, sauces and jellies – still all produced independently by the Darlington family in the rolling countryside of Cheshire. Mrs Darlington’s VE Day limited editions are available direct from

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• CHEESES • CHEESE WEDDING CAKES • OLIVES • GOURMET FOODS • WELSH WINE, BEER & SPIRITS • GIFT HAMPERS Jamie’s Butchers and Deli offer a wide range of delicious local produce! Call in and ‘meat’ our friendly butchers and see what delights are on offer Unit 1, St Mary’s Precinct, Church Street, Chirk, Wrexham, LL14 5HX T: 01691 772602


We are open for business as usual Now stocking additional lines - household and pet food. There are three ways to shop with us: The shop is still open with additional social distancing so you can come browse and shop safely. If you are self-isolating we offer a delivery service within a 10 mile radius and a call and collect service. We also offer a limited range of products for courier delivery to anywhere in the UK

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Open 7 days a week

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Huts & Stuff Our Shepherds Huts are Perfect for Spare Rooms, Model railways, Craft & Hobby rooms, Garden Retreats, Glamping, or just because you love them.

People stuck at home start thinking about their living situation, says estate agent Russell Griffin – so it could be time to start planning a move


uring this extraordinary time of self-isolation and lockdown, many people will have the time to consider how they live now and how they want to live in the future. This might mean a bigger property or a smaller one. It might mean a property better suited to working from home, or with a different view, or lower running costs. Whatever the reason, we at Samuel Wood are here to help you through this unprecedented crisis. Although few people will be physically moving home in the next few months, we have seen signs already that some are thinking about the future. Moving takes planning and planning takes time. And if there is one thing a great many of us have right now it is time. Thanks to the period of lockdown, we have made plenty of virtual valuations. Experienced local agents like us can advise owners how much their properties are worth without visiting. At a time like

this, traditional agents who have worked their patch for years really come into their own. Technology means we can even put a property on the market remotely. Because we know our buyers and what they are looking for, we can market properties on the web and in other ways. The next few months could be a perfect time to quietly offer your property on the market and even perhaps tie up an open-ended sale that takes into account the uncertainties of coronavirus. Good planning and creativity will be valuable in the months ahead. That is where a real, local property expert or consultant comes in. Why not call us, email us or visit our website right now? Russell Griffin is director of Samuel Wood, with branches in Shrewsbury, Ludlow, Craven Arms and Church Stretton. If you are considering buying, selling or letting property, call Russell on 01743 272710, email or visit

We have been building bespoke Shepherds Huts, Wagons and stuff in mid Wales for over 15 years. Prices start from £6,995. Nationwide & European Delivery Visitors welcome by appointment To order or discuss your requirements Contact David and John on 01588 620132 Mob: 07300 013032 Email:

Take a look at our Blog to see what we’ve been up to during the Lockdown at


A service you can trust Call us on 01952 684 600 for a quote or call 0800 542 4207 46 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2020

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Homes&Interiors Country house transformed with £250,000 renovation

Jane Harris was looking for a property project when she fell in love with her dream destination – the north Wales landmark Plas Maenan in the Conwy Valley


Renovations at Plas Maenan Country House have been extensive and include a new restaurant, two new self-contained bedrooms and terraces with unfloor heating

n the year that she has owned Plas Maenan Country improvements, more than £250,000 in House, Jane Harris has taken a dramatic renovation journey refurbishments and additions – notably Hiraeth, a European and Welsh tapas to bring the beloved venue back to its former glory. Jane is originally from Chesterfield but felt an immediate connection restaurant, and terraces with underfloor to Plas Maenan from the moment she arrived at the historic heating. The country house had seven Edwardian building and was determined to bring back its glory days. guest bedrooms when Jane took over. It now has 11, including two at the rear of the building that are self-contained and pet-friendly. However, the vision was not always so crystal clear, and the dream For Jane, it’s a far cry from her early years. A former soldier, acquisition almost turned into a nightmare when reality took hold. nurse and trained teacher, she says demonstrating both ‘I’d only been to see Plas Maenan three times before buying it, so I wasn’t familiar with the area and had no idea what lay ahead,’ says toughness and a sensitive side, as well as an ability to transfer Jane. ‘It was extremely daunting being in a place that I had never knowledge to others, has given her the tools to succeed in most sectors and take on the biggest of challenges. been to before; I didn’t know anybody and the sector was new to me. The hotel was closed, so there were no staff, no guests, no suppliers and no handover. All worth it ‘When I see the The building was in disrepair – a serious oil leak had ‘It’s been hard work since day one, and very tiring, Welsh flag flying shut down the boiler and the log fire was obsolete. but I am so glad I went for it,’ she says. ‘The outside it makes me ‘There was so much to do and I questioned potential here is enormous, our food is fabulous and so proud. I really my decision to give up everything for this! the events we’ve held have been well received. The feel I belong here’ But there was something about the place restaurant and accommodation will be at the heart of and I honestly believe that Plas Maenan everything, and what we have is perfect for weddings chose me, not the other way around. It was a and events, as well as local diners and guests.’ spiritual feeling, a positive energy, and that combined with the For now, Jane is looking forward to the next chapter in Plas breathtaking views of the valley made me take a leap of faith.’ Maenan’s incredible story and finally enjoying the journey. ‘When I came here, I was so focused on purchasing the property I didn’t take A year of change the time to soak up the atmosphere,’ she says. ‘I remember turning Jane had been looking for a small project somewhere in the UK; around, looking at the view and being taken aback. I hadn’t even having semi-retired and returned to education to study health, looked at it properly! It’s incredible. Now I could stand here for hours wellbeing and nutrition, she had planned to open a country retreat. – days even – and never be tired of it. And when I see the Welsh flag She admits the ‘goalposts moved significantly’ when she laid her flying outside it makes me so proud. I really feel I belong here. North eyes on Plas Maenan. What followed has been almost a year of Wales reflects our identity, and that will never ever change.’ May/June 2020 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 47

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CONVERT TO MAKE IT WORK With new figures showing that many more millennials are now living with their parents, we get some advice on how to make your home work for both generations


spare bedrooms, this can accommodate additional living space and possibly a small en-suite, although this situation is less common.’ You’ll also need to consider the decoration and storage. ‘Your children might own a lot of things; accommodating these will be a priority for people who can’t commit to larger building works. What helps is making use ‘It’s important to of storage space on landings or any spare bedroom figure out how to space there is. Putting furniture and belongings in a share the house storage facility is another option, if an expensive one.’ between 8pm

ccording to new figures from the Office for National Statistics, one million more millennials (those aged roughly 25-40) are now living with their parents than 15 years ago. Jason and 11pm’ Orme, a property expert for the Homebuilding Separation anxiety & Renovating Show, provides his tips on how Jason says what will make or break the arrangement to adapt your home to be shared with millennial children. is the use of living space in the evenings. ‘It’s important to figure ‘Adapting your home requires a conversation about whether you out how to share the house between 8pm and 11pm. The ideal want to create individual mini flats within the house or want to fully scenario is to have two separate living areas so each can decide integrate your child into the family,’ Jason says. ‘People need to work how they spend their spare time and what they watch on TV. out whether it will be a long-term situation, in which case a more ‘Millennials will want to live in a space that feels mature compartmentalised flat would be best, or a more temporary situation and caters to their growing needs, with a separate TV, and in which you could all be living, cooking and eating together.’ enough storage facilities and working areas. The biggest strain is around the lack of space and the lack of freedom. Plan for Assessing the options the long term as the reason they are sharing the home with If you go down the separation route, Jason says, it’s a bigger building parents – high house prices and land shortage – won’t be changing overnight. Prepare yourself for the long haul.’ and remodelling project. ‘But if you own a large property with

Drilling for heat and water Andrea Ellison from Dragon Drilling answers some common questions about installing a water borehole or a ground source heating system at your property Do I have enough land to install a ground source heating system? In most cases, yes. Each vertical borehole has a manhole cover of around 15cm. There is no need to dig up large expanses of land as each borehole goes down to a depth of around 100m and provides a constant heat source to the heat pump. Who decides how deep a borehole needs to be? Dragon Drilling has qualified geologists who calculate borehole depths for water and ground source installations. Are grants available to drill a water borehole or install ground source heating? There are periodic grants available for farmers for the installation of water boreholes. Contact the Welsh government website or your local authority

for information. The UK government has also encouraged the uptake of Ground Source Heating by making the renewable heating incentive (RHI) tariff very attractive for domestic and commercial customers. Visit for details. Can ground source heating be installed in any type of domestic and commercial property? Yes, and that includes domestic houses, blocks of flats, holiday parks and homes, farmhouses and farm buildings and new homes in housing estates. How can I find out whether my property is suitable? You can visit and use the ‘Contact’ tab, or email with your contact details and the postcode of your property. We will then contact you to discuss your requirements and arrange a free desktop site assessment. Corwen-based Dragon Drilling is the largest environmental drilling company in the UK. As the UK aims for zero carbon emissions by 2050, ground source heat pumps are increasingly acknowledged as replacement heating systems for gas, oil and electric systems. ‘Independent water supplies and non-grid heating supplies are common in north Wales,’ says Andrea. ‘But as the zero carbon deadline approaches, we are increasingly contacted by customers who want to leave traditional fossil-fuel forms of heating behind and replace them with renewable technology.’ Dragon Drilling also has an online shop that supplies a variety of pipes, pumps, filters and fittings, as well as offering water treatment and service packages for existing boreholes.

48 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2020

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Selling your property in 2020 ? Ask at least 3 agents to value your property and.... .....ensure one of them is

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Swinging Sixties royal retreat is reborn

A five-star boutique country house that was once a romantic retreat used by Princess Margaret has been given a new lease of life as a fairytale setting for exclusive weddings ourselves it was just for a day out. It was a beautiful spring day, the sun was shining and there was a with Juana Eastwood, a carpet of bluebells with the light commercial law expert streaming through the trees – it from Swayne Johnson was magical. We stood no chance. who oversaw the deal We were in love with Plas Dinas before we’d even stopped the car.’ Juana Eastwood, a member of Swayne Johnson’s commercial team, says: ‘This is such a wonderful property and there are so many reminders of its past, so it was a very interesting sale to deal with.’ Daniel Perks of Plas Dinas Country House Hotel,


las Dinas is splendidly situated overlooking the Menai Straits at Bontnewydd, near Caernarfon. This is where Princess Margaret’s husband, Lord Snowdon – formerly Anthony Armstrong-Jones – masterminded Prince Charles’s 1969 investiture at Caernarfon Castle. The 400-year-old seat of the Armstrong-Jones family is now an award-winning country house and home to The Gun Room restaurant, owned by Daniel and Annie Perks, who bought the lease last year. Among the 10 luxury bedrooms is the Princess Margaret Suite, where the royal couple stayed. It includes the king-size four-poster bed and the bathroom where fashion photographer Snowdon famously captured his wife in the bath wearing a tiara. A replica tiara is provided alongside a copy of the picture beside the rolltop bath for any guests wishing to recreate the scene.

New start for ancient home

Great for events

The hotel boasts award-winning chef Daniel ap Geraint, a regular on S4C, who oversees The Gun Room restaurant, while Annie is an expert at staging special events. ‘Plas Dinas is an amazing place with beautiful grounds,’ says Annie. ‘Alongside our wonderful restaurant, Daniel also creates delicious bespoke wedding menus, and we work with the local registrars and celebrant Susan Foxhall to offer a variety of ceremony options. Each wedding is different and it’s important to give the couple a wonderful memory, so I like to sit down with them and work things out. It’s the most important day of their lives and I want to make it special.’

‘This is such a

Daniel and Annie Perks completed the purchase wonderful property of the lease in November with the help of leading and there are so north Wales law firm Swayne Johnson. They have many reminders exciting plans for the property, which also has three of the past’ cottages under their management. Daniel, who is originally from Stratford-upon-Avon, has been in the hospitality business for 20 years. Plas Dinas has a great ‘We were originally looking for a selection of spaces that hotel in a seaside town, looking to make it the ideal venue bring something different to north for weddings, meetings Wales, and didn’t consider Plas and other special events Dinas at first,’ says Daniel. ‘But after a deal for a hotel in Llandudno fell through two years ago, we decided to drive to Plas Dinas, telling May/June 2020 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 51

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Your business will feel right at home in Shire Magazine Expert homes & interiors advice, and fabulous shopping pages filled with inspiration

Get in touch 01691 661270

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New Homes

New vision for Talacre landmark

DID YOU KNOW? See more projects at www. barratthomes.

The lighthouse on Talacre beach

U Barratt Homes has created an imaginitive vision for some of the UK’s derelict landmarks, including Point of Ayr Lighthouse at Talacre in north Wales

p and down the UK, a vast array of historical buildings now abandoned or in a state of decay. But what if these buildings could be bought back to life? The homebuilding experts at Barratt Homes have been imagining how some of these interesting buildings would look. Regenerating disused areas and building communities are part of the company’s ethos – from the redevelopment of the former West Ham United football ground in east London to the transformation of disused public land such as Cane Hill Hospital in Coulsdon, south London. Barratt’s experts have reimagined five of the UK’s most interesting derelict spaces as new designs that could provide a different use for the space, and one local landmark has made the list. Point of Ayr Lighthouse at Talacre in Flintshire was built around 1776 but has stood abandoned since its last use in 1883. Since

then it has become a popular landmark for visitors to the dunes and nearby holiday park. Standing 60ft tall with an 18ft diameter, the lighthouse is about as remote as you could wish for, with the single door to the threestorey stone building only accessible at low tide. The top floor provides views over Liverpool Bay and the Dee estuary, and on the balcony stands a 7ft tall sculpture of a lighthouse keeper made from highly polished stainless steel. The Barratt Homes redesign reimagines the famous lighthouse as a wellness spa. Its remote location is ideal for a true getaway, and being surrounded by water makes it the perfect spot for harnessing renewable energy – from hydropower to solar and wind. Being exposed to the elements would allow the spa to be completely off-grid and encourage guests to assume a full digital detox. May/June 2020 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 53

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‘Viewings on property portals have gone up 500 per cent since lockdown. We are confident there will be a rush in the property market once things settle again’

Lockdown could be the perfect time to get your house ready for a sale…


ome-staging company Lemon & Lime Interiors has set up new ‘virtual’ services to help homeowners sell their properties quickly once the Covid-19 pandemic has passed. The team are experts at presenting houses to make a memorable first impression for potential buyers. The Derbyshirebased company works with clients all over the UK, and occupied properties that Lemon and Lime home staged in 2018/19 sold on average four times faster after staging. Elaine Pehnaul, owner of Lemon & Lime Interiors, believes that despite recent restrictions on movement, now is the perfect time to get your home in order. She is offering two online services: virtual home staging and remote staging. ‘There are more people than ever with time on their hands to browse online for their new home,’ she says. ‘Viewings on the property portals have gone up 500 per cent since lockdown. We are confident that there will be a rush in the property market once things settle again. ‘People are at home wondering how they can make improvements to their homes, so it’s a good time to either learn how to get the best out of your home or make small improvements so it’s ready once the pandemic passes.’ The virtual home-staging service allows sellers to take a high-resolution picture of an empty room and send it to Lemon & Lime Interiors. The team will then virtually fill the room with an interior design scheme and luxury furnishings

BRING SOME COLOUR BACK TO YOUR BATHROOM After decades of white ceramics in every bathroom, it’s time for a new look


magine your ideal bathroom where quality and harmony merge with functionality to give you the utmost comfort… and then imagine it in colour! While avoiding the avocado tones of old, RAK Ceramics has become the first manufacturer in the UK to launch colour into its portfolio with intent, with the introduction of its new range, RAK-Feeling. In a world that has long been dominated by white sanitaryware, RAK-Feeling is a complete collection of shower trays, enclosures and valves, washbasins, brassware, WCs and bidets, made with

to make the property looked lived in, which in turn will help potential buyers to visualise themselves living in the property. The remote home-staging service involves a video call with the team to learn how to present your home to attract the most interest. Once any decluttering or rearranging has been done, you can take photos that will be professionally edited by Lemon & Lime to be uploaded to the property portals. Home staging has been proven to help generate a faster sale for more money and the team are experts in how to furnish a property in order to secure the best sale price. ‘We are offering this service because it means people can still get advice and a top-quality service without having to leave their homes,’ says Elaine. ‘We can guide people through how to dress their homes, which will help them to get a quick sale for more money when they do come to put it on the market.’

innovative materials and available in a range of colours to give consumers the freedom to express themselves by adding flair and personality to their bathroom.

Subtle tones

Alongside the more traditional matt white, the RAK-Feeling range is available in matt greige, matt cappuccino, matt grey and matt black. RAK-Feeling countertop wash basins with slim edges will enhance any modern bathroom and are finished with an exclusive matt glaze, matching exactly with RAK-Feeling shower trays. Designed to create a spa-like finish with elegant and contemporary lines the flush-to-the-floor shower trays are made using RAKSOLID, a durable material composed of a mixture of natural minerals and resins, with an anti-slip smooth finish. The perfectly colour-matched WCs and bidets and beautiful brassware offer the perfect final touch for a bathroom where harmony accompanies those all-important moments of relaxation.

54 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2020

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Gate Expectations Inwood (Cymru) Ltd

` ade to measure

Here at Mulberry Alpacas we have:

wooden gates and side hinged garage doors

Alpaca socks Lovely knitted items Penrose alpaca duvets and pillows Alpaca yarn and fleece Cuddly toys And a herd of freindly Alpacas So, come and visit soon!

01745 362 444 Come and see us in our workshop! Unit A1, Cefndy Industrial Park, Cefndy Road, Rhyl, Denbighshire, LL18 2HJ

Mulberry Grange, Red Hall Lane, Higher Penley, Wrexham, LL13 ONA Tel: 07713 639 447 or 01978 710224 Email: We’re 4 miles north of Ellesmere OPEN BY APPOINTMENT I TELEPHONE ORDERS WELCOME

Open : Mon – Thurs 9.00am – 4.30pm, Fri 9.00am – 3.00pm Closed for lunch each day 12.30pm – 1.00pm

F A I R O A K ‘Having an excellent reputation for designing and fitting high-quality products is something that we are incredibly proud of here at Fairoak. Come and visit our showroom to see our work first hand and find out more.’ Mark, founder of Fairoak

B E S P O K E H A N D M A D E K I T C H E N S & J O I N E RY

Committed to providing customers with the highest quality of kitchen available. From conception to completion your project will be managed by our designer using the latest design technology. Our experienced craftsmen will deliver and fit your customdesigned and meticulously built bespoke furniture. Every one of the cupboards and drawers that make up our bespoke kitchen designs is an entirely hand-built piece of furniture, made by the experienced and highly skille craftsmen in our workshop. We also manufacture other projects such as utility rooms, vanity rooms, boot rooms, dressing rooms and office rooms. ‘At Fairoak we love getting creative, and we have an excellent reputation for designing and fitting special projects, such as bespoke cafe and eateries, roadshow trailers and many other unique spaces.’

T: 01978 758963 M: 07811 359353 E: Unit 12 A and B, Clwyd Court 2, Rhosddu Industrial Estate, Wrexham, LL11 4YL

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Specialists in Water Boreholes and Ground Source Heating

Dragon Drilling is the largest environmental drilling company in the UK and specialises in water and ground source heating borehole installations.



If you currently use a large volume of water and face costly metered charges a water borehole can save you considerable sums of money. It also offers an excellent alternative if you have poor water quality or an unreliable supply. Sustainable in drought conditions and offering a reliable pressure, water boreholes can deliver safe, clean water direct to your property. Ideal for farms, caravan parks, leisure facilities and rural homes, water boreholes enable you to become independent of mains water.

Extracting energy from the ground to heat a property is a sustainable use of the Earth’s natural resources and could reduce your fuel bills. A few metres below the ground, the temperature is constant throughout the year and this energy can be harnessed to heat your home and water.

Their services are ideal for most applications, including rural homes, new build, retro-fit homes, leisure facilities, care homes, caravan parks and farms. A water borehole enables you to become independent of mains water, whilst ground source heating is a sustainable energy which allows your property to have a constant heat whilst receiving payments from the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive scheme. If you have high water or energy bills why not contact Dragon Drilling today for a free site assessment to see how they can start saving you money!

The benefits of ground source heating systems include: n n n n n

Q&A: Water Boreholes How much space do I need? “The actual space required for a water borehole may be as small as a driveway. If you can get a Land Rover with a trailer to the drill location, our drilling rig should be able to gain access.” Can a water borehole be installed in a town property? “Yes, we have installed water boreholes in many urban locations.” Do I still have to pay a water company once a water borehole has been installed? “No, once installed your water will be supplied free of charge. You will only be subject to the running cost of the pump. If you are on mains sewage, you are still required to pay for this service.” What does the borehole look like at the surface? “At the surface, we install an ordinary manhole cover, over which you can safely walk and drive.”


How do you know if there is a sufficient water supply in the ground? “We have an in-house geologist who assesses the underlying geology of the site and provides an anticipated drill depth for your borehole. At an additional cost and if required, the British Geological Survey can carry out a third party assessment. We cannot guarantee the quantity or quality of the water.” Is ground water safe to drink? “Usually but not always. The water source may contain dissolved minerals that need to be removed. We recommend water quality tests are carried out and, if required, the installation of treatment systems.” Do I require a licence to install a water borehole? “Anyone is allowed to extract up to 20,000 litres per day without a licence. If you require a greater volume of water, you will need an Abstraction Permit from the Environment Agency. We can assist with all licensing matters.”

n n n

On average, 75% free renewable energy Government incentives available Fixed and stable energy costs Lower carbon emissions Constant heat 24 hours a day Fuels both hot water and heating Directly replaces your existing boiler Reversible to provide cooler temperatures in summer Can add value to property

Q&A: Ground Source Heating How much space do I need? “The actual space required for a ground source heating borehole may be as small as a driveway. If you can get a Land Rover and trailer to the drill location, our drilling rig should be able to gain access.” Can I install ground source heating in an old property? “Yes, this is possible.” How much will I save? “You could save up to 75% of your fuel bill.” What does the borehole look like at the surface? “Each borehole is covered with a manhole of around 15cm” How many boreholes will I need? “This depends on how much heat is naturally lost from your building and the

kilowatt capacity of your system. Generally, the bigger the property, the more boreholes you are likely to require. A typical four bedroom property may need two ground source heating boreholes.” If I need multiple boreholes, how far apart should they be? “Ideally, ground source heating boreholes ought to be situated a minimum of six metres apart to maximise the efficiency of the heating pump system.” Do I need to gain permission to install a ground source heat borehole? “Not usually. Permission may be required when drilling into an area containing coal. We can assist with all matters relating to permission and licensing.”

For more information about our services, please contact us on 01824 707 777 or or visit our website at

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A stunning garden room conservatory We visit a family near Dolgellau to admire their aluminium conservatory built by Premier Windows, based near Oswestry Why did you decide to install a new conservatory? It was a replacement for a 30-year-old timber conservatory, which we loved but its time had come. It had leaks all along the ridgeline and rot, and although it was double-glazed almost every one of the panes had failed!

Did you get several quotes for the work? We did, although it wasn’t easy finding companies that worked in aluminium and were willing to travel to our rather remote location.

What made you decide on Premier Windows? Initially it Did you know what kind of conservatory was because we felt that Premier you wanted before you started? Our main actually listened to what we aims with the new conservatory were wanted. After that, visiting the quite simple: to give us the same lovely showroom to see the quality of extra space but better. We wanted modern the products and the different standards for insulation so we could use options for ourselves was key. it all year, and unfogged glass panes so we could see out! Of course, we found a few Did Premier Windows draw other improvements to include. We were up initial designs? We worked together on never fans of the narrow French doors on window size and placement, but Premier one end of the old conservatory – they handled all the technical design, such as the opened towards the drive! The end doors roof structure and the join to the house. also made it awkward to furnish the room. So we took the opportunity Why did you decide on these to put in much larger, sliding ‘It was all very doors on the long side, materials and the solid roof? An organised… aluminium structure was chosen opening on to the garden. The catflap for durability with minimal probably led maintenance. We specified tripleto the most glazing throughout, in line with discussion!’ the rest of the house. We have a very exposed location and the conservatory faces the prevailing wind. The solid roof has the great advantage that it holds the heat in winter and reduces solar gain in summer, making the space more liveable all through the year. We were dubious that the lightweight material would match the slate on the house roof, but seeing the two together convinced us: it blends in seamlessly. How long did the installation take, and how long was the project from initial contact to completion? We signed the initial contract in mid-April and signed off on the final result at the beginning of Insulation and triple-glazed windows make it suitable to use all year round

The solid roof on the new conservatory is in keeping with the rest of the house

September, so almost five months in total. The installation itself took rather less time, once the structure had been manufactured. Removing the old conservatory took just a couple of days. Then a building team took over, preparing the low wall for the doorway changes. The team to erect the superstructure arrived next, and then the glazing and the roofers. It was all very organised! Were there any complications? It all went quite smoothly. We lost a few days to weather, but that’s to be expected! The Velux roof windows weren’t quite the model we specified, but that was easily adjusted for. The catflap probably led to the most discussion! We ended up having the builders leave a tunnel in the wall. How have you found the new conservatory? So far it really is lovely! Very comfortable and usable. We even had our Christmas party in it last year, which we had never been able to do before. We’re very pleased with it and have already recommend Premier Windows to friends. CONTACT DETAILS Premier Windows 01691 773993

May/June 2020 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 57

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Glyndwr Plants

to deliver to your home safely. JustUS call to arrange WEWe ARE are ABLEable TO DELIVER TO YOUR HOME SAFELY. JUST CALL TOus ARRANGE DELIVERY. delivery. 24V/48V/80V


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R.R.P. £1699 Now £1399 SAVE £300 Tornado 2098 Coffee shop 01490 413 688 I Garden Centre 01490 413 313 The Centre is on the A5104, half a mile out of Corwen


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Distribution is carried out by specialist companies who service and monitor each stand every week. 45,000 copies of SHIRE MAGAZINE are picked up from: North Wales, including Gwynedd, Anglesey, Wrexham, Flint, Mold, Ruthin, Denbigh, Rhyl, Prestatyn, Abergele, Colwyn Bay, Llandudno, Llandudno Junction, Connah’s Quay Mid Wales, including Newtown, Welshpool, Ceredigion and Powys Shropshire, including Telford, Shrewsbury, Wellington, Oswestry, Ludlow, Ellesmere, Market Drayton and Whitchurch Cheshire, including Chester, Saltney, Upton, Ellesmere Port, Nantwich and Crewe, Northwich, Middlewich, Winsford Wirral, including Rock Ferry, Prenton, West Kirby, Heswall

SHIRE Magazine: The best of North and Mid Wales, Cheshire, Wirral & Shropshire

24/04/2020 16:02



Pink & Pewter PRETTY IN





Create a calm and stylish ambience in your home by combining shades of dusky pink and grey




11 12 10



1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

8. 9.

Alexandra Maxi sofa, £1,439, Stokers Furniture in Chester; Alstons Lexi two-seater sofa bed, £819, ,Hafren Furnishers in Llanidloes; Seville crushed velvet box, £19.99, The Range; Pebble cushion, £49, Annetts Fine Furniture in Hereford; Quill scatter cushion, £32, Alan Ward Furniture; Gallery Direct herringbone duck doorstop, £21, Hafren Furnishers in Llanidloes; Kilburn & Scott chevron flannel fleece throw (140x180cm), £20, Hafren Furnishers in Llanidloes; Selby chair, £99.99, The Range; Alexandra oval footstool, £299, Stokers Furniture in Chester;

10. Ombre glass table light, £99, Alan Ward Furniture; 11. Fogarty soft touch duvet cover and pillowcase set, from £16, Dunelm; 12. Lazy linen range, from £40, Loaf; 13. Sandstorm framed print set, £199, Alan Ward Furniture; 14. Bamboo texture wallpaper, £40 per roll, Graham & Brown; 15. Kikki gas lift bar stool, £175, Annetts Fine Furniture in Hereford; 16. Glenbrock boot rack, £79.99, British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry, Shropshire; 17. Owl door knocker, £39.99, British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry, Shropshire;

17 16

May/June 2020 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 59

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HOLLY FARM is a family run

garden centre and traditional growing nursery in North Shropshire, offering a wide selection of plants, coffee shop and friendly advice.

Tel: 01948 840630 OPEN

Monday to Saturday: 9am to 5pm Sunday: 10am to 4pm

Whitchurch Road (A49), Prees, Shropshire SY13 2DD • Holly Farm Garden Centre


Taste the difference Grow your own Many sizes available



Various designs & sizes

SUMMERHOUSES Come and see our NEW RANGE of contemporary models at our SHOW ROOM

01978 852896

Carlton Garden Centre

Pinfold Lane, Llay, Wrexham, LL12 OTL

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Trees, Shrubs & Bedding Plants GARDEN CENTRE & SHOW SITE OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 9am to 5.30pm MONDAY to SATURDAY 10am to 4pm SUNDAY

24/04/2020 14:21

Plants&Gardens MAKE THE MOST OF THE GREAT OUTDOORS In these unusual times, enjoying local open spaces and gardens is one of the best ways to entertain your family (as long as you stick to the rules, of course). And you can combine this with giving back to charities and local communities through the National Garden Scheme, which aims to run as planned this summer


he National Garden Scheme has been opening exceptional private gardens to visitors across England and Wales since 1927, raising millions for nursing and health charities. From country cottage gardens to rooftop terraces, its portfolio of over 3,700 gardens provides an inspirational mix of planting styles and designs along with a warm welcome from knowledgeable and enthusiastic owners. In Cheshire, Shropshire and north Wales, the rural landscapes and towns provide a rich tapestry of gardens from dramatic hilltops to calming canalside hideaways. Many gardens serve homemade cake and teas, and others sell plants grown on site or from local nurseries. But it’s not the gardening inspiration or the cake that makes visits so enjoyable – in a survey carried out among National Garden Scheme visitors, over 80 per cent said that simply visiting a garden was good for the soul. At the time of publication all gardens are closed, but you can see them at www. and save your favourite gardens so you can be informed when they open. You can also make a donation to help the garden. Here we have listed Lower Brookshill some of our favourites to inspire you…

Ty Hwnt Yr Afon, Conwy

SHROPSHIRE Lower Brookshill, Nind

A 10-acre hillside garden and woods, the garden was started in 2010 from a derelict and overgrown site. Today, cultivated areas rub shoulders with the natural landscape using fine borrowed views over and down a valley. It includes brookside walks, four ponds, mixed borders and lawns, cottage garden and annual wild flowers. SY5 0JW. Opens 19th July, 2pm-6pm. Admission £5, children free. View online at

Oswestry Gatacre Allotments & Gardens Association

Discover more about the joys of growing your own food! These two large, adjacent urban allotments are well supported and well loved by residents. A vast array of fruit, flowers and vegetables in every shape and form are grown here, and allotment holders will be on-hand to talk about their produce and give advice. SY11 1NL. Opens 25th-26th July, 10.30am-3.30pm. Admission £5, children free. View online at


Spending a lot of time at home? Yes, us too… So now’s the perfect time to get your garden looking at its best for the summer. Lis Morris, RHS course manager and lecturer in horticulture and sustainable technologies at Reaseheath College & University Centre, gives her top tips on environmentally friendly tasks that will keep your garden healthy and looking great

• Clear dead foliage off spring flowering

bulbs such as daffodils and snowdrops. Divide overcrowded clumps of bulbs after they have finished flowering and are starting to wither. Replant them elsewhere in the garden and feed. • Earth up potatoes and hoe off weeds in the veg patch. Sow summer vegetables such as peas, courgettes, chard and spinach. • Grow on hardy summer bedding plants such as geraniums, petunias and fuchsias in frost-free conditions and plant out towards the end of May or early June.

• Grow on plant

plugs in your greenhouse. They’re inexpensive and Grow on plant plugs will be ready earlier, plus there’s no need to prick out which can be fiddly and time-consuming. • Check seedlings daily and water if the soil surface is dry. • Remove algae from paths and patios using a stiff brush or pressure washer. If using a proprietary algae spray, use with care and make sure these are not harmful to wildlife.

• Mow the lawn, and rake and aerate the

surface where it has become compacted.

• Leave some areas unmown and see

what wildflowers emerge. These will benefit bees and insects. Or clear a patch and sow wildflower seeds. • Save rainwater in water butts or other large containers – its better for your plants and better for the planet! For more visit www.reaseheath.

Get mowing

May/June 2020 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 61

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NORTH WALES Ty Hwnt Yr Afon, Conwy

Re-landscaped by its owners over the past seven years, this garden’s glacial stone, stream and springs create an amphitheatre of shrubs and plants including spring bulbs, acers, azaleas, camellias, rhododendrons and a multitude of other favourite perennials. LL32 8YT. Check website for up-to-date opening details. Admission £3, children free. View online at

Ty Brombil, Denbighshire

A unique hidden garden below a striking contemporary home on a steep, rocky site. The garden’s outdoor ‘rooms’, featuring stone walls, architectural planting, fruit trees, vines and pots, are linked by short flights of steps. LL16 3NH. Check website for up-to-date opening details. Admission £3, children free. View online at uk/view-garden/35485/ Ty Brombil, Denbigh

CHESHIRE Framley, Neston

This five-acre garden has extensive mature wooded areas, underplanted with a variety of interesting and unusual woodland plants. A selection of deep seasonal borders surround a mystical sunken garden, while wide lawns and sandstone paths invite you to discover Gatacre, Oswestry what lies around every corner. CH64 2US. Check website for up-to-date opening details. Admission £4, children free. View online at

Sandymere, Cotebrook

Sixteen landscaped acres of beautiful countryside with terraces, walled garden, extensive woodland walks and an amazing hosta garden. There are lots of water features, including a new rill built in 2014, which links the main lawn to the hostas. CW6 9EH. Check website for up-to-date opening details. Admission £7, children free. View online at

The Firs, Nantwich

A canalside garden in an idyllic setting by a wide section of the Shropshire Union Canal with long frontage. The long garden

GROW YOUR OWN As we’ve all realised this year, it’s a good idea to be as self-sufficient as possible when it comes to food. You can grow veg yourself in even the smallest outside space. These are the best bets for beginners…

A four-acre country garden with a woodland walk, parterre, herb garden, herbaceous borders, dry stone walled terracing, lily ponds with waterfall, as well as a wisteria-clad 1693 house (not open). SK10 4ED. Check website for up-to-date opening details. Admission £6, children free. View online at uk/view-garden/22826/

18 Highfield Road, Macclesfield

This small terraced garden packed with plants has evolved over 12 years, and now combines formality through structural planting with a more casual style influenced by Christopher Lloyd. SK10 5LR. Check website for up-to-date opening details. Admission £4, children free. View online at uk/view-garden/29701/

Hilltop, Prestbury


Sow them directly into the ground, thin out and eat! A very easy vegetable to start you off, this is one of the quickest and most child-friendly crops. Runner beans grow up sticks

Easy to grow, tasty – and it looks good in the garden too. Sow in late April and plant them in block formation to aid wind pollination.

This can be sown directly into the ground for most of the year and produce a crop within a month – just look out for slugs!

Spring onions Sow lettuce in the ground

These will quickly ramble up sticks, trellises, hedges and walls and need very little care and attention – just pick the beans daily for a continuous supply.

Peas and mange tout

Hilltop, Prestbury



Runner beans

includes varied trees, shrubs and herbaceous beds, with some wild areas, all leading down to an observatory at the end of the garden. CW5 6AY. Opens 26th July and 2nd August 1-5pm. Admission £4.50, children free. View online at

DID YOU KNOW? The National Garden Scheme’s president is Mary Berry

Sow directly into the soil from March and they will quickly entwine around netting, sticks or chicken wire. Just protect them from birds.

Another easy beginner’s favourite – sow directly into the soil, thin out, pull up and enjoy. Slugs may cause some damage during wet weather.


The nation’s favourite! So easy to grow, carrots only take 12 to 16 weeks from sowing to harvest. Just look out for carrot root fly.

Carrots: beginner-friendly

62 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2020

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We carry and install year round an extensive range of containerised stock covering two acres and are particularly strong in large trees and shrubs. We are available to carry out surveys and advise on your planting requirements.

The Bigger Plant Company Ltd. Orchard Nurseries, Fornalls Green Lane, Meols, Wirral CH47 9RL TEL: 0151 632 3532 EMAIL:

Open 9.00am - 4.30pm 6 days a week closed Mondays inc bank holidays (and Sundays in Nov/Dec/Jan) ALSO AVAILABLE IN SMALLER SIZES

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FI RE SA SP VE RIN LI KL VE E S RS A Sprinkler system is an active fire protection method, consisting of a water supply system, providing adequate pressure and flow rate to a water distribution piping system, onto which fire sprinkler are connected. Running alongside our sister company Pivotal Plumbing and Heating, Pivotal Sprinklers specialise in domestic new builds projects and renovations. We are able to design, install and commission the right sprinkler system for you by qualified engineers to meet BS925. In January 2016 the Welsh government implemented new legislation for the mandatory installation of fire sprinkler systems for all new domestic properties. Pivotal fully support the introduction of Domestic sprinklers in Wales, reducing the loss of life due to fires and are working with developers to ensure that we implement the requirements of the regulations in all of our installations in the most cost effective and efficient manner.

Renewable specialist

Air Source Heat Pumps Ground Source Heat Pumps Underflooring Heating The RHI is due to end on 31 March 2021 The government has not announced how it will encourage low carbon heating after 31st March 2021


For further information or for any help or advice please call us on 01691 831529 or email us on

Contact details: 01691 238180

If you are looking to build a unique eco conscious home, look no further than LC Ecohomes. Right across North Wales and the North West, Geraint Jones Joinery can build you one of these beautiful homes designed specially for you. With features such as very high insulation levels; bespoke design and a wide choice of specification and finishes, find out from us just how affordable these homes are.



View all the details at the LC-Ecohomes (secure website),, or email Geraint Jones Joinery, Authorised Contractor


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GreenLiving Making a wheel eff rt A Flintshire construction firm has smashed a cycling target as part of its bid to reduce its carbon footprint


group of employees from Hollingsworth Ellery Construction, led by the firm’s director Steve Ellery, have reached their target of riding 500 miles by cycling to and from work at the group’s head office in Sandycroft, Flintshire. The initiative is part of the firm’s determination to improve its green credentials. Hollingsworth Ellery has been awarded ISO14001 accreditation – an internationally recognised standard presented to firms that turn their passion to help the environment into action via effective environmental management systems – and gained level three of the Green Dragon environmental standard set up by Groundwork Wales, an environmental charity that helps communities across Wales create better neighbourhoods, build skills and improve job prospects.

Green achievements

Within just five months of starting the cycle challenge, Steve and his team had already chalked up 500 miles – the equivalent of cycling

from Sandycroft to Edinburgh and back. ‘We have been working on improving how we operate from an environmental point of view for three years with the various accreditations in mind and because we genuinely want to look at how we can do our bit to look after the planet,’ says Steve, who lives in Rossett, around 10 miles from the Hollingsworth group’s offices. ‘We have put lots of measures in place, including better segregation of waste on site. We have also changed our fleet of company cars to hybrid, reduced the number of lights in the office and switched them to environmentally friendly LED. Earlier this year, we had a team brainstorm and came up with the idea of cycling to and from work and it has gone from there.’ It is estimated that cycling 500 miles can save around 200kg of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere, the equivalent of the average house’s energy use for almost six days. The team have also found the cycle challenge has had a positive impact on their physical and mental health. ‘When you sit down at your desk, you feel energised for the working day ahead,’ says Peter Downey, a senior quantity surveyor. ‘Our cycle challenge has also inspired others to join in. I think it has got more of our colleagues thinking about how they can help the environment and enjoy exercise at the same time.’

A new approach t climate change A worrying new survey shows four in 10 aren’t doing even the bare minimum to help the environment and almost a third think climate change isn’t a real problem – but every person can make a difference

Cheers to new green scheme The Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) joins the One Oswestry Cup scheme


poll has found that 40 per cent of Brits have an ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ approach to being more eco-friendly. The research, commissioned by Smart Energy GB, also found that 17 per cent of adults forget to turn the lights off, 23 per cent drive short distances they could easily walk and one in four still buy plastic bags from the supermarket rather than taking bags for life. More than a quarter also put their washing on at 40°C or higher. More encouragingly, 37 per cent have installed a smart meter to monitor their energy usage, with a view to reducing how much they use. Four in 10 of those polled via OnePoll also said they do more now than they did a year ago. While the same percentage of those say it’s because they care about their own futures, 48 per cent do it to make the planet better for their kids in years to come. Yet shockingly, nearly a fifth of the population aren’t even convinced climate change is a real problem, and three in 10 believe the importance of it has been exaggerated. Smart Energy GB commissioned the research to highlight the positive impact one person acting now can have on the future of the environment. The campaign has launched a new partnership with the National Trust, with augmented reality installations at six National Trust sites that will look at what the natural world could be like in 30 years’ time and what could happen if we don’t take action to become more sustainable.


JAH’s Denbigh’s Restaurant and its League of Friends Coffee Shop have signed up to One Oswestry Cup, a reusable cup scheme for hot and cold drinks. Customers pay a £1 deposit for the takeaway cup, which can then be returned to any participating venue. All returned cups are then washed to be used by another customer. ‘We’re delighted to be supporting One Oswestry Cup,’ says Victoria Sugden from the League of Friends. ‘It’s a fantastic opportunity to help us reduce our waste.’ The initiative aims to reduce the number of single-use cups across the town. It’s estimated that seven million single-use paper cups are thrown away daily in the UK with less than one per cent being recycled. May/June 2020 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 65

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‘We believe Shire to be one of the best in the country. Full of interesting information, articles and features, Shire has plenty to offer its readers and it really helps us connect to our target market. The Shire team are one of our favourite to work with.’ Phil Sanders, Stokers Fine Furniture

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‘We have found the team always to be helpful, professional and supportive. They are brilliant at including us in features. The magazine is well read and it is effective advertising. We see how well the public react to the magazine here in the centre as they pick up their free copies. Its a great read.’ Janet Dallolio, Afonwen Craft & Antique Centre

‘Shire magazine hits the perfect mark for us. Through a regular programme of promotions and editorial content, Shire is increasing our exposure and extending our audience reach. Our collaboration with Shire magazine is increasing awareness about us, our music and our considerable charitable work.’ Derek Jones, Wrexham Symphony Orchestra



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We always know when a Shire magazine hits the shops, as it gets our phone ringing. The circulation area is really well suited to our target market, and the magazine has a quality feel. We certainly get results from our advertising. The team at Shire are always helpful and friendly, making the whole process hasslefree.’ Linda Andrews, Cheshire Cat Narrowboat Holidays ‘We were delighted with Shire’s Chester Chester CH3 5UG CH3 5UG 01244 311160 01244 311160 help in producing a new look to our advertisements – they gave our ads a new lease of life and superbly promoted our products. The professional and personal approach of the sales team made them a joy to work with – nothing was too much trouble.’ Carla Huxley, Simon Boyd Ltd W WW W W. W. SI S IM M ON O NB B OYD O Y D..C COM OM

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‘Once we knew the team behind Shire magazine and understood the vision for the publication we were eager to be part of it. The quality of the magazine is equal to those that attract a £5 price tag, filled with useful and informative articles, rather than simply packed with adverts. The adverts are well thought out and the editorial opportunities often prove equally as valuable as the advertising space, promoting key products and positioning us as experts in our field. Communication is fantastic and pro-active, with a real understanding of how a business might Chester CH3 benefit from being in each issue. Shire Magazine is definitely one 01244 311160 of the first mediums penned into our advertising schedule





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‘Shire Magazine is a very important asset for Premier Windows and Conservatories. Their team takes the time to understand our business which leads to carefully constructed adverts. We have greatly benefited from Shire’s features on our installations. We look forward to continued success with Shire Magazine.’ Caroline Chenery, Premier Windows ‘Shire magazine helps us to reach out to our audiences across the region with quality editorial, uptodate features and advertorial support. Dan and the team at Shire are great to work with and it’s the type of magazine you want to pick up and delve into to find out what’s on.’ Ben Walker, The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust ‘When I came across the Shire magazine I knew immediately that this was THE place to be seen. We were looking for a magazine that not only covered a wide area but moreover was informative and full of interesting articles on subjects that would appeal to people of all ages and lifestyle.’ Ann Wynne, Wynnes Countrystore

Call 01691 661270, email or go to to find out more

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Accessories It’s all about the


Forget garden gnomes – there are a multitude of beautiful garden accessories that can help you add a personal touch to your outside space. Here are some of our favourites

3 5 1 2

6 7

9 8 11 10





1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Kephart sphere wind spinner, £67.99, Wayfair; Cast iron bird on fork garden ornament, £47.99, British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry, Shropshire; Leaf trellis (60cm x 150cm), £39.95 for set of two, Chairworks; Iron poppy plant support, £11.50 each, Kadai in Leebotwood, Shropshire; Rainbow rectangles glass wind chime, £19.95, The Wind Chime Shop; Crackle hundi lamps, £24 for set of four, Kadai in Leebotwood, Shropshire; London Garden Trading copper cala lily garden sculpture, £29.95, Not On The Highstreet;

8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

Over The Rainbow wind spinner, £145, British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry, Shropshire; Rosdorf Park imber icicle suncatcher, £25.99, Wayfair; Arch window mirror, £28, National Trust; Toadstools, £26 for set of three, Ferney Heyes Garden Products in Audlem Crew, Cheshire; Lovebirds river pebble garden decoration, £17.99, British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry, Shropshire; Wildlife wall art with a rust finish, £34.99, National Trust; Children’s hazel den, £399.95, Chairworks; Metal cut blue swallow, £19.50, Nature In Steel in Bucknell, Shropshire;

May/June 2020 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 67

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Could you volunteer at Carding Mill Valley to support the area’s wildlife?

HELPING HANDS FOR ENDANGERED SQUIRRELS Coleg Cambria students have joined forces with a wildlife project to help save the red squirrel population from extinction


tudents on the level 3 NVQ animal population and boost genetics,’ says Kirstie. management course at Coleg Cambria ‘They have been brought into the forest Llysfasi have built feeders and nest boxes for from various locations with the help of the red squirrels and monitored their progress at Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay, and enclosures in Clocaenog forest, near Ruthin. other breeding centres. The learners have This project supports the work of Red also built feeder boxes with cameras trained Squirrels Trust Wales and Natural Resources on them so we can follow the squirrels’ Wales, who are fighting to save the species progress, and they’ve cleaned and collected following a century-long decline branches and greenery for the enclosures.’ in numbers. There are an DID YOU estimated 120,000 to Tracing and tracking KNOW? 150,000 reds in the UK, The red squirrels have been fitted with You can adopt mostly in Scotland, where radio collars. ‘Students were taught how a red squirrel previously they were to track the movements of the squirrels in at www.welsh common throughout the the forest and then to analyse the data,’ UK. In comparison there says Kirstie. ‘It has been a brilliant project are around 2.5 million greys. for them, and most importantly in trying The red squirrel is officially classed as to reverse the huge population decline.’ ‘Near Threatened’ in Wales, England and The main cause of their demise Northern Ireland. was parapoxvirus disease (aka Llysfasi lecturer squirrelpox), carried by the grey Kirstie Fraser squirrels introduced in the 19th says the students century. A loss of woodland has are gaining vital played a major role as well. experience as part Becky Clews-Roberts of the of the conservation Clocaenog forest project thanked initiatives. ‘The Coleg Cambria for its support of the Clocaenog project scheme. ‘They are a very hardworking has been a success group and take an interest in what so far with several they are doing. I would not hesitate captive-bred red to ask them for help again.’ To support the red squirrels squirrels released project and find out more, visit back into the and wild to mix with the remnant The scheme tracks squirrel movements


olunteering for the National Trust in Carding Mill Valley or on the Long Mynd offers a wealth of opportunities to learn new skills and knowledge while inspiring others. Learning Volunteers help to lead visits from primary and secondary schools, inspiring the next generation of nature lovers and geographers. The Engagement Volunteer team is looking for help during the school holidays as well, for free activities such as river dipping and guided walks or just helpful advice to visitors to Carding Mill Valley. If you like more practical, physical work then the Ranger Team will welcome you on board. Its groups assist with conservation work throughout the year, from drainage Carding Mill Valley ditch digging to repairing ancient monuments. If you work Monday to Friday, the Weekend Ranger Volunteers help on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays – picking litter, chopping wood or helping manage visitor flow. The Ecology Team needs volunteers too, helping with the annual bird and insect counts. But if you prefer the comforts of indoor life, there are also opportunities in the shop and tearoom. There’s sure to be an opportunity for you to help with the trust’s vital work. Visit the Carding Mill section of www. for more details, or pop in to the Chalet Pavilion.

Help manage birds

May/June 2020 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 69

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RSPB Images



The RSPB is hoping the nation will help keep an eye out for local birdlife and join them for a mass birdwatch – something we can all do from the safety and comfort of our own homes

At this time of year, there is so much incredible nature he RSPB’s new daily Breakfast Birdwatch takes place between blooming, growing and thriving, and we must not forget 8am and 9am on weekdays – a time when, under normal the power of nature – how watching nature can have circumstances, many of us would be commuting to work, doing the school run, or otherwise unable to enjoy the splendour of nature positive effects on our mental health and wellbeing. simply by looking out of the windows of our homes. The RSPB’s Breakfast Birdwatch will focus on different Now that many of us have been released from those themes and different species, helping to identify what ‘It is vital people have seen and heard, and answering questions morning responsibilities, it’s time to get involved with the that nature along the way. Those participating are encouraged to RSPB’s activities. With nature reserves facing closures or can be restrictions, it is vital that nature can still be enjoyed by as be creative with ideas such as drawing and poetry. enjoyed by As outdoor activity remains limited, and with many people as possible, from keen birders to children and as many the RSPB’s reserves closed, it is more important those who are self-isolating – or anyone else able to join in. people as Using #BreakfastBirdwatch and #BrecwastGwylioAdar than ever to ensure the public has a powerful possible’ on social media, the RSPB aims to create a connection with the nature on their doorstep. supportive community who share what they can see in their gardens, on their balconies, on rooftops and in other Breakfast Birdwatch takes place every weekday between 8am outdoor spaces from their own homes, all the while keeping and 9am. Post updates, photos, videos, drawings, poems and within government guidelines in relation to Covid-19. comments using #BreakfastBirdwatch or #BrecwastGwylioAdar



Molly and Daisy

Tabs, Lord of the Cats

WE WANT YOUR PETS! Send us a photo of your pet for inclusion in Shire! Just email the picture, with the name of your pet, to editorial@

Rocky Moocher Ormrod who always has his tongue out

Much-loved rabbit Ziggy Bella enjoying the waterfall

70 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2020

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Support us through

You can now donate to Cats Protection every time you shop through AmazonSmile, a scheme which enables Amazon customers to donate to charity at no extra cost.

How it works

Simply select Cats Protection as your chosen charity and this will raise funds for us each time you shop with AmazonSmile. Thank you for your support and happy shopping!

Go to –

FUND_4672 071_SHIRE_MJ2020.indd 1

24/04/2020 14:27


doodling Dabbling in

A Cheshire artist has taken her doodling habit to a new level and is now operating a successful design and illustration business from her home in Wrenbury


arah Capper is the creative mind behind Doodleicious Art, which started life as a hobby that she fitted in around work and family life. ‘I’ve always wanted to do what I’m doing now, but the path has been long and winding and I’ve gone down many a blind alley and fallen in plenty of hedges along the way!’ says Sarah. ‘Right from the start it was so difficult because I was working full-time in an account management job as well as being a single mum to a baby and building my illustration business at night. ‘I was often drawing with a headtorch on in the corner of a room, but I was determined to make my business work. I even had a local printer claiming the rights to my digital designs and ended up having to spend thousands to have them digitised for a second time. I think if you’re determined enough and put in the hours, you will turn something around. ’ ‘I think if you’re determined enough and put in the hours, you will turn something around’

All in the detail

Alongside perfecting the art of her company – which showcases her beautiful, detailed animal and floral designs on cards that are stocked across the country – Sarah has also spent a fair bit of the last four years teaching herself all the aspects of running her own business, from sales and marketing to accounts and invoicing. ‘My background is in textiles design and I have a BA (Hons) from Nottingham Trent University,’ she says. ‘My style of illustration is born from my love of decorative surface pattern and I specialised in embroidery while at university, which cemented my love of all things intricate and painstaking! ‘My illustration work is inspired by the colours and forms in nature, so the subject matter is mostly birds, animals and flowers. I often replace the form with tiny floral and patterned detail, and most of my pieces of artwork take approximately 12 hours to complete. I then add colour by using watercolour pencils and everything is done the “old-fashioned way” – by hand. ‘The images are then digitised for print and I’m very proud to sell my greeting cards around the UK and Europe, including at Kew Gardens, Cheshire Wildlife Trusts, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Somerset House and the RSPB.’

Sarah’s work is available to view and buy direct at doodleiciousdoodles 72 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2020

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A cracking good idea Maggie Hugheston-Roberts reveals her new venture, Maybird Design, which creates unique handmade crackers for weddings, dinners, family celebrations, Easter and Christmas

Stunning inside and out Castle Park Arts Centre in Frodsham offers art appreciators something incredible to look at outside and in, with its beautiful building and touring exhibitions that are always on show


et among beautiful floral gardens and parkland in the historic market ‘The arts centre town of Frodsham, Cheshire, Castle has three galleries, Park Arts Centre was originally a two craft rooms, stable block for the adjacent Victorian a coffee shop and mansion house. Its traditional origins garden space’ are reflected in the unique clock tower and the specially commissioned opulent wrought-iron gates, which were commissioned for the entrance when it was converted in 1986. Today, visitors can enjoy both the beautiful Victorian buildings and grounds surrounding the arts centre, which boasts three galleries, two craft rooms, seven courtyard craft units, a coffee shop and garden space. The centre also has a lively programme of exhibitions and arts activities. Exhibitions play a large part in what the centre has to offer. Planned for this summer is an exhibition by Jenny Holland, Travels With An Artist IV, which is scheduled to run from 21st June. Jenny’s bold impressionistic style is achieved by using palette knives with oils and acrylics to reveal bright colourist landscapes that represent areas around Anglesey, the Llyn Peninsula, north Wales, the Lake District, Yorkshire, Cornwall and beyond. ‘Countryside is my passion,’ says Jenny. ‘I love the old farms and dwelling places, the historical harbours and old fishing boats. I enjoy hugging the coastline of the UK, sitting on harbour walls, in my wellies up my local fishing creeks of the Dee Estuary, or just out in the hills with my sketchbook and camera.’ For the latest information, visit


he idea for my company was born at the dentist’s over nine years ago, while I was waiting for my annual checkup,’ says Maggie. ‘I was flicking through an expensive magazine when my focus was drawn to a extravagantly decorated table with large crackers on each plate. The crackers were painted with characters from The Nutcracker and made me gasp because they cost more than £100 each. I remember thinking there must be something really special inside! ‘I’ve always loved art and have a graphics degree, which led me to work in advertising for a while and then teaching. But when I found myself semi-retired, I remembered that torn-out piece of paper from the magazine. ‘My crackers are painted using watercolours and ink pen. I have sought an eco-friendly approach, eliminating the use of plastic and promoting recycling. I enjoy drawing from life when I can, and I collect natural items as I walk along canals and lakes to take home to draw. ‘The tradition of crackers is still largely at Christmas, but I have tried to break into the wedding market. My wedding crackers can be bespoke, made using pressed flowers that model the bridal bouquet. The cracker can contain wedding favours, the menu, thank you messages and sweet treats. ‘Easter and Christmas crackers contain three different flavoured truffles and a piece of paper with either wise words, a thought-provoking saying, a gardening tip or an informative fact. I sell them in boxes of six and all my products can be purchased on Etsy. ‘The idea of crackers is glorious – but often the “bang” ends too soon and the plastic toy is soon forgotten. Such a waste, but the idea is worth rethinking… I hope I’m getting closer to the perfect cracker!’ Maggie also makes beautiful prints and cards. Visit to place your order May/June 2020 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 73

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lass is an extraordinary material – just look around you at the functions it performs. Its history is fascinating, too, from its discovery more than 5,000 years ago, through the evolution of glass-blowing in ancient Egypt to the development of decorative crystal glass and the advancement of ‘float’ glass – ultra-clear for windows and capable of being strengthened and toughened. Glass can be moulded, pressed, fused, cast and blown, and is almost endlessly recyclable. It transmits, refracts and reflects light like few other materials. It’s most abundantly found clear and colourless, yet can be coloured to the point of being opaque. ‘I’m always amazed by the way light plays with glass,’ says glass artist Jill Bagnall, a lifelong crafter

by Brian McGarry, Colwyn Bay

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who discovered kiln-formed glass about 14 years ago and was quickly seduced by the colour and the versatility of the process. Jill launched Fusing Ideas Glass in 2012, selling glass home accessories, as well as running a successful garden design business. In 2015 glass became her focus and she now exhibits at select arts and craft fairs in the UK and with both Shropshire and Worcestershire Guilds of Contemporary Craft.

Redundant canal-side mach

inery by Kathryn Hall

Class act

Jill also runs beginner glassfusing workshops for small groups at her home-based studio in Worthen, Shropshire, near the Welsh border. She has taught hundreds of people the basics of glass fusing across the region, and has welcomed students from as far as Israel. Many of her students come back repeatedly to enjoy the immersive creative experience and learn more. Jill now also runs workshops from the Willow Gallery in Oswestry and has other venues planned for 2020. For more information visit

by Milton Jones

by Paul Le wis

PHOTO COMPETITION MARVELLOUS MACHINES Thank you to everyone who submitted pictures for this edition’s photo competition on the topic of Marvellous Machines. You certainly rose to the challenge once again with some fabulous images – some of which we have printed on this page. With the current situation in the world being uncertain and more than a little worrying for many of us, we thought you’d like to focus on something positive for the next competition. So take a look around you and focus on the things you usually take for granted, and see what images you can take related to the topic Tiny Treasures. Send them in to us at and the best of luck!

The Lovell Telesco

pe, Jodrell Bank by Helen Mardell

The Anderton Boat Lift at Northwich by Dave Thornton

74 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2020

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Join the Shire team

If you’re a good communicator and will enjoy building relationships with clients for the best regional magazine covering Wales and the Borders, we want to talk to you.

Would you like to work at home? Do you like communicating with people Do you have sales experience?

Are you a local artist?

We’d like to share your work with our readers, and tell your story.

Due to rapid growth, there is now an opportunity for a new member to join our team. You can work from home, with hours to suit you, liaising with advertisers to help them choose their campaign and their coverage in the magazine. You are a charismatic and proactive self-starter who enjoys working on your own initiative, and are outgoing and personable. You are highly organised, and have good computer skills. Above all else, you are a trustworthy and hardworking individual, someone who gets a real buzz from achieving results for clients. Please email with a covering letter and your CV to, marked ‘Work from home’ as the subject to find out more.

Mae bywyd a dreuliwyd yn dda yn cael ei gyfoethogi gan ein cysylltiadau, yn deulu a chyfeillgarwch, a gyflawnwyd drwy addysg gydol oes ac a gefnogwyd gan gymunedau gofalgar. Yn angerddol am gyfoethogi bywydau ar draws y cenedlaethau, mae PACT yn cefnogi cymunedau a’r celfyddydau ym mhob un o’u ffurfiau hyfryd, yn hyrwyddo’r sector gofal a’i arwyr ac yn cynrychioli ein hymrwymiad i gymdeithas. Pobl yn gofalu am bobl

Shire Magazine, The best of North and Mid Wales, Cheshire, Wirral & Shropshire Get in touch or 01691 661 270

A life, well lived, is enriched by our connections, family and friendships, fulfilled by lifelong learning and supported by caring communities. Passionate about enriching lives across the generations, PACT supports community and the arts, in all its glorious forms, champions the care sector and its heroes, and represents our commitment to society. People caring about people.

Preswyl • Nyrsio 24 awr • Dementia • Iechyd Meddwl • Anaf i’r Ymennydd • Fflatiau Gofal Cydymaith • Seibiant • Gofal Dydd • Hyfforddiant Residential • 24 hour Nursing • Dementia • Mental Health • Brain Injury • Companion Care Apartments • Respite • Day Care • Training Gwasanaethau yn Wrecsam a Chaernarfon • Services at Wrexham and Caernarfon

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Busnes y Flwyddyn 2015 / Business of the Year 2015

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Enriching Lives with the Arts

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o other colour has the extraordinary appeal of red. From runways to street style, there is a current mini red trend, but recreating the look takes knowledge, practice and passion. So before you reach for just any piece of ruby, crimson and pillar box clothing in your wardrobe, it’s worth taking a look at the hottest pieces to wear at the moment. Turkish designer label Nu offers delicate solutions mixed with tougher shapes for beautiful structural style. Its SS20 collection is perfect for adding a sports luxe touch to more casual outfits, with asymmetric tops, bubble skirts and layered blouses. Or why not look at pieces from Italian designer Beatrice B? Its range offers classic tailoring with a innovative luxury twist in deep sunset colour hues. If you want to opt for more relaxed dynamic approach, Moyuru offers softer artistic shapes for an easy-to-wear modern look. Our favourites in its collection include a tie-dye printed shirt made from rayon fabric, which makes it a go-to for a relaxed avant-garde look. The key to styling is to find the shapes that work for you and then choose the right colour palette to complement your complexion. If you do opt for red this season, be brave with your colour options, pick one key wardrobe staple to work with and choose a shade that suits your skin tone. The statement colour is guaranteed to set hearts racing, make you feel determined and add a little fire to your look as you head into summer.

Get in touch to be featured Telephone 01691 661270 or email

Moyuru printed shirt in red, £300

Crea Concept open-front jacket in lava, £281

Niù shirt in karkadè, £124

Get your Fashion fix at Shire Magazine

Shire Magazine, supporting local universities, schools and colleges.

NU pleated vest top in red, £89

Alquema Estrella long dress in red, £192

Beatrice B jumpsuit in burgundy, £274

Shop SS20 collections at Olivia May’s Cheshire showroom and online at with FREE delivery Olivia May showroom The Barns, Lane End Farm, Kelsall Road, Ashton Hayes, Cheshire CH3 8BH Showroom opening hours are Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. Call 01829 751600 to make an appointment

To ensure your school is featured, contact us now on or simply call (01692) 661 270

76 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2020

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You’re sure to turn heads in one of these stunning summer outfits

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Veni Infantino collection, from £350, Out Of Town & Fab Feet in Oswestry, Shopshire; Coral dress, £525, Abi Fisher in Tarporley, Cheshire; Alquema Estrella dress, £192, Alquema Jacqui long jacket, £195, and Kennel & Schmenger suede heels, £94, all from Olivia May in Ashton Hayes, Cheshire; Veni Infantino collection, from £350, Out of Town & Fab Feet in Oswestry, Shopshire; Beatrice B Blouse, £218, Beatrice B sleeveless dress, £263, and Chie Mihara slip-on heels, £235, all from Olivia May in Ashton Hayes, Cheshire; Aesha floral tiered maxi dress, £130, Monsoon; Lizabella collection, from £299, Out of Town & Fab Feet in Oswestry, Shropshire; Pearl trim shift dress, £149, Jacques Vert; Christie dress, £269, Hobbs London; Irresistible dress, So Chic Bangor; Inspirato dress, So Chic Bangor Condici dress and jacket, So Chic Bangor; Occasion midi jacquard dress, £50, Next; Lace dress with frill-cuff bolero, £169, Kaleidoscope; Zinnia lace occasion dress, £130, Monsoon; Valeria dress, £229, Hobbs London;





May/June 2020 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 77

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Health&Beauty COPING WITH ANXIETY The coronovirus crisis is a tough time for us all – even those who have never experienced anxiety before may be feeling worried. But there are ways to keep the pandemic panic under control


veryone deals with change and uncertainty in different ways. Many people struggle with day-to-day situations, but even the most emotionally hardy of us feel worried at times like the current crisis. Who could fail to feel anxious for themselves and their loved ones during a pandemic? But there are some simple steps we can take to help stop it getting on top of us.

Understand and accept

contributes to overall feelings of fear. Accept the things that you cannot influence and try not to spend too much time dwelling on them. Instead, focus your energy on what you can control. Make sure you and your family are safe, and complying with official guidance. Don’t take unnecessary risks with your or other DID YOU people’s health. Shop for KNOW? what you need, when You can visit you need, but no more. Work when you can, for anxiety if you can; if you can’t, self-care tips accept the support that’s there to get you through.

Don’t be too hard on yourself for worrying. In the midst of a pandemic – when entire countries have shut down – we all wonder what will happen next, and this uncertainty is what makes it such a difficult situation for the human psyche. Don’t make it worse by feeling that you should be able to get on with things. This is a unique event, so be kind to yourself and accept that it is normal to be anxious. Use tactics to reduce anxiety

Recognise what you can control So much of this pandemic is out of our control, which makes us nervous and


Keep talking

contact however and wherever you can. And you can still have that glass of wine – why not join friends for a virtual pub night?

Stop analysing

It is important to keep an eye on the current situation, but it’s not healthy to obsess. Check in, perhaps daily, and then switch off. Poring over alarmist content is rarely helpful and falls into the category of focusing on things you can’t control rather than those you can.

At times like this, we all need our friends, families, social networks and communities more than ever. A glass of wine and a hug with a friend might be what we dream of, but until this is possible it is vital to stay connected in other ways. Call people on the phone, use video conferencing, email family, write letters, post notes through doors of neighbours – maintain

Help others

With the current focus on the dangers of coughs and sneezes spreading diseases, we take a look at some of the myths surrounding the common cold – not to be confused with the more complex coronavirus!

You should feed a cold and starve a fever This age-old adage has an element of scientific truth. A cold virus is fought off best when you are fed and full of energy, whereas a fever – often brought about by a bacterial infection – may be less likely to thrive if it is not fed. This probably explains why we often lose our appetite when we have a fever, but total fasting is not a good idea.

You can get a cold from being cold Despite the name, a cold is a virus and is spread from one person to another via germs passed in coughs and sneezes. Going out and getting physically cold will not give you a cold. That said, viruses usually find it easier to travel in cold dry air so colds are more prevalent during winter.

Try to maintain contact

The benefits of doing something for someone else have long been documented. Making this difficult situation slightly easier for someone else will make you feel much better too. Offer help to a neighbour, suggest a group chat when times are hard, leave flowers from your garden on someone else’s doorstep or just make a few phone calls to people you think may be feeling worried and anxious themselves.

Going outside with wet hair will give you a cold Just as you can’t catch a cold from being cold, you’re unlikely to get ill if you skip the blow-dry on a cold day. You’ll feel chilly, but not much else will happen!

78 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2020

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WHAT Ayurveda, or Ayurvedic medicine, is a system of healthcare based on naturally sourced components. Therapies are typically based on complex herbal compounds, minerals and metal substances that are combined and used as treatments. WHERE The practice originated in India, and in traditional healing its roots can be traced back to around 6,000 BC. There are various legendary accounts of the origin of Ayurveda, some suggesting that it was first conceived by Hindu gods and spiritual guides.

WHO It is such a complex medicinal system that it can be used to treat any kind of patient for pretty much any kind of complaint. There are Ayurvedic approaches to everything from cataract removal and nasal reconstructions to common fevers and colds. HOW Although laboratory experiments suggest it is possible that some substances in Ayurveda might be developed into effective treatments, there is no evidence that any are effective in themselves. Some of the traditional forms of treatments even use potentially toxic levels of metals, causing some controversy, but many rely on herbs and massages that can show benefits.

THE EYES HAVE IT Whether we’re staring out of them or gazing into someone else’s, eyes are pretty important! Shire takes a good long look at how to keep them at their best


take extra care of your eyes. Whether you’re t has been said that our eyes are the short-sighted or long-sighted, whether you windows to the soul. If that’s the case it’s pretty important that they are not only prefer spectacles or looking but also feeling at their best at all contact lenses, it is times. Not everyone’s eyesight can be perfect, vital to have regular but they should be performing as check-ups and well as possible and an asset to ‘Check that ensure your our features rather than a facial lenses are made the whites Bright eyes faux pas. So whether you’re trying to the correct of your to make them look pretty or just prescription – anything else could lead eyes are make sure they can, well, look, to tiredness, strain and headaches. white’ here are Shire’s tips for keeping Contact lens wearers also need to those peepers in tip-top form. make sure they are following proper cleanliness and care guidelines. Caring for your eyes One other option that could offer a There are several simple thing everyone can solution is do to make sure we’re caring for our eyes and laser surgery keeping them at their best. Check frequently for eyesight. that whites of your eyes are just that – white. When done Any other colour is an indicator that they professionally may not and after proper be healthy. consultation, Tiredness, this can be a fantastic option for too much many, so consider it carefully. sunlight, allergies, Colour and care swimming When it comes to the beauty of our eyes, pool many of us would like a little enhancement. water, eye We prefer bright blue to dull blue, and a Get regular eye tests strain and rich chocolate tone to mid-brown. The many other factors can lead to redness good news is it’s not impossible to alter your which is not what we want from an natural colour. Coloured contact lenses are aesthetic or health point of view. So avoid increasingly popular and affordable, while or accommodate all the factors that trigger there are even drops available that claim to this response. When your eyes are irritated, change your eye colour naturally and over let them relax and recover without rubbing, a period of time. These which will only worsen the effect. do so by restricting the eyes’ natural production Vision problems of melanin. Always follow The majority of people need some sort of instructions and do some vision adjustment to improve your sight research before putting and if you’re one of those, you’ll need to anything into your eyes. May/June 2020 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 79

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o t n i g Sprin mer sum

Freshen up your look with these smart-casual pieces that will take you effortlessly from one season to the next





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Northcote linen blazer, £150, and shorts, £55, White Stuff; Harbour printed cargo shorts, £45, White Stuff; Gabicci short-sleeve cotton shirt, £46, Wood’s of Shropshire; Hoggs of Fife Perth short-sleeve shirt, £26.95, Cherry Tree Country Clothing in Ruthin, Denbighshire; Mantaray palm leaf cotton short-sleeve shirt, £35, Debenhams; Linen blend blazer, £134.95, Vedoneire; Selshor cotton chino shorts, £69, Ted Baker; Cotton Traders cotton cashmere half-zip jumper, £32, Tweedmill

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Shopping Outlet in St Asaph, Denbighshire; Craghoppers Kiwi short-sleeve shirt, £24.50, Cherry Tree Country Clothing in Ruthin, Denbighshire; Deckside half-zip sweat, £54.95, Joules; Cotton Traders classic seersucker shirt, £28, Tweedmill Shopping Outlet in St Asaph, Denbighshire; Garment dyed jeans with stretch, £28, Next; Cotton lightweight funnel-neck jacket, £50, Next; Collam short-sleeve rugby shirt, £49, Crew Clothing; Police Lewis 04 sunglasses, £149, Debenhams; Linen crew-neck sweater, £39.95, Gap;

80 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2020

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We offer fast access to experts who can provide a diagnosis and treatment. Don’t wait. Get in touch now. Whether you’re insured or want to pay for yourself, don’t just go private, go personal. Our services include: Orthopaedics/sports injury

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24/04/2020 11/12/2019 14:32 14:38

Retirement Living Isolation needn’t mean loneliness For older and vulnerable people, spending a long time away from others isn’t new. It’s always important to avoid feelings of loneliness – so here are some expert tips


s we all know, the outbreak of coronavirus this year led the government to introduce a raft of measures to combat its spread, chief among which are the social distancing and self-isolation policies. And now that we’ve all Millions can go weeks without a conversation had a taste of being isolated from the rest from the Mental Health Foundation has of society, we can understand better why also found that 17 per cent of adults in the loneliness is such a concern for our older UK cite the lack of real-life communication population. Distancing, and the loneliness as one of the key reasons behind their that results from it, is one of the key drivers psychological challenges, while research from behind the development of serious mental Smart TMS has also indicated that 12 per and physical health problems, say the mental cent of the UK’s population – which works health treatment specialists at Smart TMS. out to around six million people – regularly The most restrictive of the government’s go weeks or months at a time without anti-coronavirus measures were applied to having a proper conversation with anyone. the UK’s elderly, with the recommendation Given the huge potential for self-isolation that those over 70 remain in isolation for to leave vast proportions of the population up to 12 weeks and visits to care homes suffering with the effects of loneliness, and hospitals restricted. Consequently, particularly the elderly, CEO of Smart TMS there are now grave concerns around the Gerard Barnes has expressed serious mental wellbeing of Britain’s concerns about the consequences of older population, as loneliness ‘Loneliness strict social distancing. Speaking to is such a key contributor can be Shire, he offered advice on how best to a range of mental and a factor to mitigate the situation and remain physical health problems. in heart connected to our older relatives. disease ‘It goes without saying that Mental to physical and stroke’ Covid-19 poses a significant threat A variety of studies have shown to the health of our nation and our loneliness to be a driving factor behind conditions such as cardiovascular way of life, and it is extremely important disease and stroke, chronic stress and that social distancing and self-isolation are strictly observed by everyone in order to anxiety, progression of Alzheimer’s disease, effectively combat the spread of the virus and depression and loss of memory. Research save lives,’ he says. ‘However, the potential for these measures to cause thousands of people to suffer from loneliness and isolation is massive, and this could have a disastrous impact on the mental health of the nation’s elderly in particular, as well as their physical health. With this in mind, it is absolutely vital that we maintain frequent and meaningful communication with older relatives who may be in self-isolation or practicing strict social distancing to help reduce the crippling effects of loneliness.’ Older people faced loneliness before coronavirus


Older people need contact now more than ever – but we have to think of new, safer ways to keep in touch… • For the tech-savvy older generation,

encourage the use of tablets and smartphones. Hold regular video calls, organise chat groups, share pictures and email back and forth as much as you can. • Those without as much digital knowhow will appreciate a phone call – not just when necessary, but at different times of the day, for no reason other than to just catch up. • Neighbours may be a vital source of comfort and help isolated people feel less alone. Shout a greeting over a fence or wave and talk through a window when passing. • Traditional postal communication may well be more important than ever. Send a simple card, long letter, photo, parcel of treats or whatever you think might be appreciated by the recipient. • People confined to their homes will appreciate a new view every so

often. If someone in that position looks across to your house consider planting some bright bulbs or putting up a friendly poster.

82 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2020

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WHY IT’S VITAL TO REMAIN INVESTED Mark Evans, managing director of Beaumont Wealth, says that in the markets what goes down must come up – and explains how his company is working hard to stay in touch with clients


can go down as well as up, there is likely to be a V- or U-shaped he investor Warren Buffett is recovery. Once the immediate threat of the virus has passed, markets quoted as saying ‘be fearful are likely to recover. That’s why it’s important to remain invested when others are greedy, and be so as not to miss out on a potential upturn in the markets. greedy when others are fearful’. What this meant is that 2020 may prove to be a ‘magical’ time to invest Keeping in touch because all the markets are at a very Our advisers can speak to clients by video conference, which works low price. As sure as eggs are eggs, well. We will be returning to normal face-to-face meetings as soon the financial world will recover – we just don’t know when. as we can, but using technology a little more has made us greener by Markets are hard to predict because they often behave irrationally cutting down on miles travelled to see – some of which is exacerbated by the increasing use of automated clients; it also makes us more efficient. trading systems – which is the point behind Buffett’s notion. What As a business, we’re always interested we do know is that the markets are currently very low. This is similar in reducing our carbon footprint. to a shop having a huge sale – you may not know We are mostly using Zoom, when the sale will end, but you do know the prices and the feedback from ‘We believe are very low right now. We saw the same situation clients using this method the markets arise during the financial crash in 2007/08 – with for the first time has been will return to hindsight, January 2008 was the best time to invest. positive. It’s all very simple normal once the – we set up the meetings crisis has been and our clients just click on From bear to bull resolved’ Monitoring the effects Our opinion is that we will continue to see volatility. a link we send by email. The market is responding quickly as new information Beaumont Wealth offers discretionary management, becomes available and this is driving volatility. As a result, there which allows our professionals to make changes promptly, informing investors after changes have been made. Every investment is carefully could be some record growth days, but also some days of markets closing lower. At Beaumont we believe this is a short- to mediumanalysed on a quarterly basis, using a unique ‘risk barometer’. By assessing the level of risk involved with each investment as the market term situation, and we think markets will return to normal once the crisis has been resolved or the virus is deemed to be under control. and economy change, riskier assets can be adjusted or replaced. While past performance should not be relied on as an indicator of We take every measure to build a diverse portfolio that is aligned future performance, it is interesting to consider market reactions to with your attitude towards risks and aimed at protecting your investments from a volatile market. previous national and international emergencies. When the FTSE 100 has entered ‘bear market’ territory – defined by a drop of more than 20% in the market – this has normally been followed by a ‘bull Beaumont Wealth market’, defined by growth of more than 20%. The most recent bear market was the financial crisis of 2008, when the FTSE 100 fell by Oswestry Office 01691 670524 approximately 41% in a little over a year. The resultant bull market Chester Office 01244 621762 continued until the recent crisis, with growth of approximately 190%. Shrewsbury Office 01743 297751 We cannot determine when the markets will return to normal or Knutsford Office 01565 748144 when the crisis will be over, but we do believe that while investments May/June 2020 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 83

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A wonderfully empowering environment in which girls flourish academically but also personally

her potential


An outstanding independent school for girls aged 4-18 in the heart of Chester. You want the best for your daughter, so do we. At Queen’s our inspirational teachers provide an enriched curriculum in a nurturing setting. We develop intellectually curious, lifelong learners who are resilient leaders and collaborators with a global outlook. • Uniquely positioned to focus on educating and developing girls • Individualised approach to learning • Strong focus on languages including Mandarin and Spanish • Exceptional outdoor learning including Forest activities and a specialised Beach School • Unique Queen’s Baccalaureate programme for Sixth Form • Extensive enrichment programme

CONTACT US TODAY We are happy to answer your questions, tell you more about what makes Queen’s special and explain how your daughter will thrive here. Find out more about what makes Queen’s special. W. T. 01244 312 078 E.

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Top of the Class New ways to learn


ovid-19 may have closed the gates of Owestry School, but not the school itself. Instead it has ‘dispersed’ and moved into the new territory of remote teaching. Teachers have been delivering lessons from home in order to ensure continuity of education, connecting with pupils all around the world – in Thailand, Serbia, Georgia, Montenegro, Hong Kong, Germany and Spain to name just a few. Pupils in years 11 and 13 haven’t been Remote learning continues resting on their laurels, with the prospect of using predicted grades for their exam It was a natural step to add in Google’s results. Past papers are being completed and video conferencing app and required limited revision continues. Teachers are planning to additional training for pupils and teachers. ‘Pupils have been able to engage introduce new enrichment topics to prepare them for the next stages in lessons with limited support from ‘Pupils have parents, allowing them to develop of education, whether that is sixth settled form, university, apprenticeship, their independent learning skills. quickly into whatever. ‘We learn not for school It has been heartwarming to see a new way but for life’ is the school’s motto. how quickly the pupils have settled of working’ into this new way of working.’ ‘We felt that introducing new technology in a rush at this time A daily form time via video link enables teachers to check on the was not appropriate and so have focused on wellbeing of the children and helps them using the tools we already have in different ways,’ says deputy head Alison Sefton. ‘For to feel they’re still part of an active school community. The school says feedback a number of years we have been a Google from children and parents alike has been School, using its wide suite of apps to appreciative and overwhelmingly positive. support classroom teaching and learning.



oleg Cambria students have been offered places at elite international universities alongside top spots around the country. As well as Oxford, Cambridge and Russell Group institutions, learners from the north-east Wales college are looking overseas for their higher education. Among them is Oliver Barton, who secured a place to study chemistry at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada. The 19-year-old from Marford is currently studying for an A-level in chemistry and has already completed A-levels in maths and English literature, as well as an AS-level in French plus the Welsh Baccalaureate. The coronavirus pandemic has led to concerns over travel and examination results, but Oliver is confident of relocating to North America in the autumn. ‘I also had offers from UK universities but having visited Nova Scotia previously it would be great to live and study there,’ says Oliver, who is based at the college’s Yale site in Wrexham. ‘Dalhousie is ranked in the top 12 universities in Canada for chemistry, so it’s a privilege to have been offered a place. ‘It’s a long way from home but my family are supportive and proud of me. The staff and lecturers at Coleg Cambria Yale have also been supportive and given

Oliver Barton is heading to Canada

me lots of advice, which I’m very grateful for – it’s an amazing opportunity.’ Four students have received offers from Oxford and Cambridge, and many more will join Russell Group institutions including Loughborough, University College London, Liverpool and Exeter. Gareth Jones, deputy director of general education at Yale, believes the success of students is a tribute to the college’s culture and ethos. ‘Teaching and supporting the learners is of course our number one priority, but it’s equally important we raise their aspirations. We wish the students good luck and congratulate them on these offers – they’re a credit to the college.’


SCHOOL NEWS FUN AT THE FARM The Rhug Estate welcomed children, staff and parents from Cylch Meithrin Clocaenog playgroup to visit the farm’s animals Children met the Rhug Estate’s sheep before the lockdown. The children, aged between two and four, were given a tour of the farm by farm manager Gareth Jones. They got to see sheep, bison, cows and chickens, and completed their visit in the Rhug playground with a picnic on the grass. ‘All the children were absolutely fascinated by all the different animals they saw,’ says Ffion Jones, who accompanied the children on the visit. ‘It’s of vital importance that children learn from a young age where their food comes from.’ The Rhug Estate encourages groups to arrange a tour of the farm when it reopens to learn about how organic food is produced in a sustainable way. Educational groups are especially welcome. ‘It is part of our job as custodians of this land to impart knowledge to the next generation,’ says Lord Newborough. ‘It’s important to spread the word about how important organic farming is to providing a better, more sustainable and healthy future.’

TOP SPOTS FOR STUDENTS Students from Coleg Cambria have been chosen for key positions in helping to shape student rights and education in Wales. Ellie Kidd, 17, was elected to the NUS Wales Steering Group for two years, while Lisha Ellie Kidd and Lisha Howen Howen, 16, secured a year-long tenure on the same panel. The pair were given the good news at February’s NUS Wales Conference in Aberystwyth. ‘Ellie and Lisha will help make the final decisions on what the next NUS conference will look like, how it is run and what policies will be discussed,’ says Kate Unitt, Cambria’s student voice engagement officer. ‘I am proud of their achievements and look forward to working more with them over the next couple of years.’ Lisha, a former pupil at Ysgol Dinas Bran in Llangollen, say: ‘I’m hoping that being a part of the NUS Wales Steering Group will help me to more fully understand the policies that other students across Wales are hoping to get passed, and provide a voice for them.’

LEADING THE WAY The Marches Sixth Form has opened five new study areas to support students with independent learning. The business studies centre provides a state-of-the-art environment along with a second study room and three new classrooms. A second study centre for private study will be next to open. The sixth form is also celebrating after it was confirmed that it leads the way in Shropshire in the Progress 8 score rating. A score of +1 means pupils achieve one grade higher in each qualification than other similar pupils nationally; a score of -1 means they achieve one grade lower. The average score of secondary schools nationally is 0, and The Marches achieved a score of 0.16, placing it number one in Shropshire and in the top 17% across England. ‘I am proud of the sixth form, both in the results and student attitude to learning,’ says headteacher Alison Pearson. ‘We are now leading the way locally and demonstrate exceptional teaching to support our students.’

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SCHOOL NEWS ESSAY SUCCESS FOR STUDENT The world faces many challenges in the 21st century, from disease and drug resistance to species extinctions and climate change. Many of these challenges are biological – so can biology save the world? The University of Gloucestershire set Isobel Jones this as a challenge in their A-level essay competition last term and Moreton Hall was delighted to learn that sixth form student Isobel Jones was awarded the runner-up prize, winning her £500. ‘My article was about brain-computer interface technology and how the human brain working alongside computers and AI software could lead to new and effective solutions for the problems we’re facing,’ says Isobel. ‘I am really happy and surprised that I managed to be a runner-up – I genuinely didn’t think this would happen!’

PHYSICISTS REWARDED The best of Oswestry School’s physicists in years 10, 11 and 12 excelled in their January mock exams and were invited to take part in this year’s British Physics Olympiad, run by Oxford University. To prepare, they practised on past papers and met in the school’s Science Club to discuss strategies. The written exam was undertaken just before the Covid-19 disruption, and several pupils earned awards. Particularly impressive was Rustam Toshov in Year 10, who came second in the GCSE team.

STARSTRUCK STRIKERS A preparatory school football side got the chance to sample the life of a Premier League star recently when the under-11 squad from Rydal Penrhos took a trip to the Etihad Academy Complex, the home of Manchester City, for a tournament organised by the Independent Association of Prep Schools. On the day the squad played against teams from Stockport Grammar School, Cheadle Hulme School and Birkenhead School in a round-robin contest. Although Rydal Penhros didn’t come away with the overall victory, the team performed well in the face of some stern opposition to continue their encouraging run of performances during the academic year. Following the event, head of games Jamie McLeod arranged a special tour of Manchester City’s facilities for the pupils. They spent time in the state-of-the-art changing rooms, the press area and even got the chance to go pitchside and see where the likes of Sergio Agüero, Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling perform. ‘It was another very encouraging tournament for our under-11 squad, who have come on a significant amount during the season,’ says Mr McLeod. ‘They all got a tremendous amount out of the experience and were blown away by the facilities during the tour of the stadium.’

Rydal Penrhos pupils visit Man City’s changing room



oreton Hall’s Leiths Cookery School students were in the audience recently when two top chefs and cookery writers came to town! Prue Leith’s career has seen her shape how we eat and think about food. Founder of the Leiths School of Food & Wine, she has worked as a caterer, restaurateur, teacher, TV cook, food journalist, The Leiths girls get to meet the Leiths novelist and cookery book author and is now probably best known how she felt stepping into Mary Berry’s as a judge on The Great British Bake Off. shoes. She also revealed which recipes Prue is also aunt to Peta Leith, a pastry from the new book she’d be cooking for chef and food writer who spent seven Sandi Toksvig when she comes to visit! years as a pastry chef at The Ivy. Prue and After the talk there was a chance for Peta have now worked together the girls to meet Prue and Peta to produce a cookbook, The for a photo, and the Leiths girls ‘Two truly Vegetarian Kitchen, and their also took the opportunity to inspiring Booka Bookshop-hosted event at have their Leiths Food & Drink women Oswestry’s Wynnstay Hotel was to talking about books – their cookery bible – talk about this new collaboration. signed by the great lady herself. their passion In conversation with Moreton ‘It was great to hear the different for food’ Hall’s Caroline Lang, Prue and recipe ideas,’ says Leiths student Peta revealed how a planned Tilly Prytherch, while Eloise Roberts book on cakes and pastries evolved into a describes it as ‘an unforgettable experience’. vegetarian cookery book. They discussed the As host Caroline Lang said: ‘For all of us rise of vegetarianism and how our interest gathered in the Wynnstay for this Booka in food from around the globe means that Bookshop event, this was the ultimate foodie vegetarian food need never be dull. It was treat – two truly inspiring women talking a lively Q&A session and in response to about their passion for food, and then the a question from Leiths student Charlotte opportunity to go home and try out some of Rollason, Prue talked about Bake Off and the mouthwatering recipes for ourselves.’


the challenges of today’s world in order to lead smarter, healthier, and happier lives. This means nurturing optimism Sue Wallaceand resilience, which can increase Woodroffe, head academic performance, instil a love of learning, and help build a better society. of The Queen’s Resourcefulness and the ability to School, Chester, respond to challenges in positive ways stems talks about why from creative intelligence, which is why we must help children learn to trust their now, more than ever, we need instincts and to believe in their abilities. to provide children with a safe, The result is capable children who grow nurturing environment into confident and productive individuals. Children are born with natural curiosity and this should be encouraged by allowing The few past months have highlighted them the freedom to explore. At Queen’s how times of crisis can bring out the best we feed their interests and provide inspiring in people, with whole communities uniting opportunities and activities for a greater good. It has also to develop them. This could confirmed my belief that schools ‘We must be through our Beach School must provide an inspirational help our programme, forest classroom haven for children where they can students to develop the characteristics and activities and industry mentoring be happy in skills necessary to successfully schemes, or something simple such themselves’ as the opportunity to lead projects navigate the future. By helping or get involved in charitable work. children to be confident and As educators, schools have a responsibility creative, we give them something that to help their students develop a strong sense is priceless. So how do we do this? The key lies in a child-centred approach of identity, feel confident about their ability to learn, develop positive relationships, and to learning that values developing creativity become proficient communicators. But most and life skills as much as academic results; of all, we must help them to be happy in equipping students with the social and themselves and confident of their futures. emotional skills they need to navigate

86 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2020

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tudents from Myddelton College in Denbigh are Lili Tetley Young and her mum, Mary logging on to classes each day whether they’re in China, Nigeria or the Vale of Clwyd, thanks to the worldwide web. And owing to their familiarity with the Microsoft Office 365 system, the transition has been seamless. ‘We are running our normal timetable for every year group with six lessons a day, starting at 9am, each of them delivered via a video call on Microsoft Teams,’ says headmaster Andrew Allman. ‘Our blended approach to education means that students always access lessons at Myddelton College through Microsoft OneNote, where the teacher can check and mark work, while also practising essential written work when necessary.’ There has been a very positive response from staff, pupils and parents. Year 9 student Lili Tetley Young lives in the Vale of Clwyd. ‘It’s been very good,’ she says. ‘It has kept our routine, and the app means we can hear the other students, which adds the atmosphere of a classroom. But you can have the lessons anywhere you want. Yesterday it was sunny and warm and I sat outside in the garden for some of the lessons!’


he world record-holding creators of one of Britain’s best-loved games characters were guests of honour at a recent games development conference in Wrexham. The Oliver twins – who developed the Dizzy series of games – were keynote speakers at the Level Up Conference, Wrexham Glyndwr University’s annual games conference. They talked about their 35-year career in the industry, which saw them gain a Guinness World Record in 2018 as Most Prolific 8-Bit Videogame Developers. ‘I was so pleased to have Andrew and Philip visit us,’ says Rich Hebblewhite, senior lecturer and conference organiser. ‘Their games inspired me to learn programming, which is how I got here today!’ The conference is one of several major annual industry events organised by the awardwinning games programme team at the university. ‘The Level Up Conference is a great chance to meet with and hear from leading games industry figures,’ says Rich. ‘The has become a cornerstone of our calendar and is a vital part of the learning experience for our students.’ Andrew and Philip, the Oliver twins

and while all sessions involve practising key skills, each visit can be tailored to meet the specific requirements of the visiting group. he National Library Most workshops are held at the National Library in Aberystwyth, but the Education Service’s outreach programme also enables some of Wales’s Education sessions to be delivered in schools and colleges throughout Wales. Service provides access for schools to the collections Many of the resources, relating to a range of topics from the held at the library. Princes of Wales to ‘The outreach Its duties include the Second World programme welcoming War, are also available allows online at www.library. pupils and Resources for pupils of all ages for some students to view wales/education and sessions in treasures that define Wales’s history and heritage, as schools’ All of the well as conducting tours of the secured storage areas Education Service’s to show how the items are protected and preserved. The service’s main responsibility is interpreting materials to work is delivered free of provide content for its workshops and the educational resources that charge. You can find out more at or call it publishes in print and digital format. The workshops are delivered The library covers a range of topics to a wide range of age groups, from Year 1 pupils to lifelong learners, 01970 632988/632913.



THE HEAD’S COLUMN Charlie Minogue, headmaster of Moor Park, looks at the opportunities of remote learning


e have all become used to a new lexicon over the past few weeks: social distancing and self-isolation to mention but two. Online learning is another new feature in the lives of parents, teachers and children. Despite what some politicians would have us believe, education is not just about passing exams. All schools are engaged Parents have a role to play

in the coming months. In in forming young people into productive members of society. Academics and the many prep schools under normal circumstances, acquisition of knowledge undoubtedly play a part, but so too does the development of children don’t have ready successful social interaction, thinking skills access to the world’s knowledge through the and other attributes such as resilience. All of this is challenging enough under internet. The opportunity to expand critical normal circumstances, but how do schools continue to nurture their pupils when thinking, creativity and face-to-face contact is not possible? With independence during this Creative thinking time is one that shouldn’t be the support of parents, it is possible to continue to overlooked. The setting of tasks to teach these skills can fulfil develop academic knowledge and skills. The ability to set the dual purpose of increasing work over the internet, use knowledge and developing skills, which I’m excited about. of online resources and other tools are incredibly useful. As the dust settles, it will be interesting to see what But, as we know, there is New opportunities for learning more to education than benefits will have been given this – and the younger the child, the more to our children as a result of this new way of learning and I wonder what long-term challenging this is for teachers and parents. I do, however, feel there are opportunities changes will be made to our schools as a as well as challenges in an educational sense result. From challenge comes opportunity…

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MEET THE EXPERT Shire chats to Tamsin Young, programme leader in equine science and welfare management at Wrexham Glyndwr University

What subject do you specialise in?

Equine behaviour and welfare, measuring stress levels in horses and the horse-human relationship.

How did you get into this career?

I’ve ridden horses since I was a child – I was in Pony Club and competed regularly with my own ponies and horses. I then completed my British Horse Society examinations, which enabled me to teach riding and stable management, and worked parttime teaching at a riding school and in a freelance capacity. Having studied biology at university, I went on to combine my passion for horses ‘Potential and my biological knowledge to teach equine career options science. I then completed a PhD, deciding include rehabilitation to specialise in measuring stress levels in work, coaching horses and understanding what triggers stress riders and with an aim to improving equine welfare.

What is required to get on the course you teach?

postgraduate study’

Passion and commitment, underpinned by an equestrian background. Our students have a strong interest in horses and a desire to have a career in the equine industry or at least a link with it. We don’t require them to have riding skills, although there will be lots of opportunities if they want to learn, through the British Horse Society exams. They do have to have experience of handling and basic stable management skills. The students run an equestrian club that is open to anyone at the university. They organise visits to yards, talks and riding lessons – or clinics, as we call them – at the Northop Equestrian Centre. The activities are a fraction of the cost people would normally pay for riding lessons at a riding school, for example, and they’re taught by a British Horse Society instructor, Amy Bannister-Bell. The academic requirements for the course are 112 UCAS points and four GCSEs (including English Riding lessons are offered

and maths). Students without the traditional entry requirements will be interviewed.

DID YOU KNOW? The cours e is based at the rural Nort hop campus

What does the course entail?

Students apply new and existing scientific principles to the management and training of horses while embracing equine welfare. The degree integrates theory and practical work, and takes three years – but can be studied part-time over a longer period.

What practical work can students get involved with?

Practical work is a key element of the degree. Stable management modules are taught in the first two years, and those first years also offer complete work experience. Training for British Horse Society exams is offered alongside degree, and a one-off Practical work is a key part of the course payment of £100 is offered to equine students towards a vocational exam of their choice.

What career opportunities can the course lead to?

There are a diverse range of career opportunities open to students who complete the course. Potential career options include equine welfare and rehabilitation work, training horses, coaching riders, commercial equine yard management, consultancy work, research or postgraduate study.

Why should people choose Wrexham Glyndwr University?

A supportive environment

Set in the beautiful North Wales countryside, Glyndwr’s rural Northop campus provides a supportive learning environment supported by excellent practical facilities and first-class teaching staff.

90 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2020

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Subscribe to Shire magazine, and never miss an issue again!

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May/June 2020 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 91

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FROM BIRDS AND BEES TO BEARS AND BELUGAS Natural history fanatic Mike Potts has released a new book packed with tales and pictures collected over a lifetime of documenting the amazing flora and fauna around the world


s a child, Mike Potts became obsessed with the wildlife he found in rural north Wales. He turned this passion into a career that has spanned decades and taken him around the globe. His book Untangling The Knot: Belugas & Bears details just some of his adventures as a wildlife cameraman. ‘My interest in natural history, and particularly birds, began over 50 years ago,’ he says. ‘The parents of a school friend, Peter, had a small wooden bungalow in the countryside where he and I used to go at weekends to escape the grime and noise of the industrial Black Country where I was brought up. ‘Peter had a canoe and we would go off on forays down the canals. Water voles were common, as were kingfishers and moorhens. We built hides in the woods and listened to tawny owls. This was the beginning of a lifetime of working with wildlife.’

An interest in photography proved the perfect companion to Mike’s animal obsession. ‘In my late teens I bought a basic Bolex clockwork 8mm cine camera and with this produced my first black and white images of birds in flight, not very big in frame, ‘Much and quite often out of focus!’

footage of sparrowhawks at the nest. ‘I sent him the material and it was just what he wanted. I subsequently spent four years with the RSPB film unit before going freelance in 1982.’ Mike’s talents and curiosity took him far and wide. ‘My of the filming career took me to behaviour more than 50 countries on a variety of assignments Nest practice filmed had over 35 years. The most This remained a never been memorable was on birds of hobby until Mike seen before, paradise in New Guinea with was in his 30s. He so I felt Sir David Attenborough. This had been working in privileged’ shellfish cultivation in involved building platforms in trees north Wales, but the 120 feet from the ground company went into liquidation and he was left without a job. to access the display sites of these beautiful birds, ‘A friend told me of a nesting sparrowhawk on Anglesey. which only display at dawn. Much of the behaviour I applied for and got the filmed had never been licence required to work at the nest. I set up a hide to seen before so I felt privileged to be involved film the nest from egg laying with this project.’ through to the chicks fledging, a process that would take many weeks.’ A contact at the BBC knew of a Untangling The Knot: Belugas producer who was making a film on & Bears by Mike Potts (£20.95, birds of prey and was looking for Whittles) is available now


As always, our friends at Linghams Bookshop in Heswall have a reading recommendation. For this edition it’s one that will give everyone a much-needed feelgood boost Max The Miracle Dog by Kerry Irving Kerry Irving lives and works in the Lake District with his wife and dogs. He has a passion for the outdoors and is a keen photographer. After a road traffic accident left him with spinal injuries and chronic pain, Kerry’s mental wellbeing suffered dramatically. Little did he know that a therapy dog called Max would transform his life forever. This story brings together two souls who needed each other. Max, an adorable and inquisitive spaniel, had spent his days confined to a small front garden,

not enjoying the life every dog should. Kerry, who lived just up the road, embarked on a challenging walk to visit Max. This visit marked the turning point in both their lives. It took nearly six years to get his life back on track – with Max by his side. This book covers the heartwarming tale of a lifesaving friendship, one that can be followed on social media. Max has a huge celebrity following and is the nation’s favourite royally approved dog. He counts the Duchess of Cambridge among his fans and was the first therapy dog to be invited to Buckingham Palace.

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by Rachel Cherrington


We welcome the day, keeping darkness at bay and dispelling the grey, as the stars melt away. So we work and we play, while the hawk hunts its prey, and the farmer cuts hay. But we dare not delay. For so soon comes the night, and the change dulls our sight, though the stars give their light, with the moon pearly white. Yet the cold air will bite, so the fire we light, and its flames bring delight as our dreams they excite. Then we wake in the day, and our dreams will not stay, so we go on our way feeling tired and grey. And we blink at the light, and bewail our plight, and our ongoing fight, while we long for the night.

Eiffel Tower by Norman Marshall

In these extremely difficult times, many of us have more time to read than ever. So the experts at publisher Austin Macauley have put together a list of books guaranteed to make you smile, or even laugh out loud. Check out their recommendations, then order online, stay safe at home and let these books help you stay positive.

The Old Roué

by Dennis Woodfine It is with sadness that I report the death of Sidney an old retainer, who has worked diligently for many years for me He is being buried on Saturday at half past three under our huge beech tree Veronica is calling to see that it is done properly Just a couple of hymns perhaps ‘The Day Thou Gavest’ and ‘Nearer My God To Thee’

Monsieur Eiffel put pencil to paper, Designing rivets into steel: A Parisian phallic symbol Of a certain sex appeal. Gustav eyed that tapering thrust – Prostrated for angels and camera – Renewed and preserved under paint. Oh, goodbye to rust! This guardian of Paris chic, Such fame and romance, all dear, To those who hunger and seek An Elysian field with an atmosphere. Such an image to her flock And all who bow to her autonomy, For there now resides a rock For lovers and the economy.

The Drop by Jo Young Drip, drip, drip My journey is always vertical Water is my source Smooth, crisp and clear I will always be better than wine or beer! I have a purpose to always keep flowing Providing substance to keep the nation growing.

Pants Optional by Carol Steingreaber

Death Of A Grey Man and The Grey Man Buys The Lot by Robert Leslie Alfie And The Evil Pie King by KirstenJessica Lloyd Pets Are A Pleasure and Pets Aplenty by Malcolm Welshman A Furnished Affair by Carol Short

My Teacher’s A Robot! and My Teacher’s A Spy! by Phil Barnes In my mind’s eye I can see him now, working for hours as he trimmed the grass between the gillyflowers and the hollyhocks Unfortunately he had an attraction for ladies’ buttocks He could not resist a pert rounded derrière he bent down and bit them right then and there One young lady squealed and laughed with obvious glee then showed off her bruises at a party as if they were some kind of trophy then had the brass neck, the audacity, to write a letter of complaint to ME! Well I suppose yes, he was an old roué, but he was still the best gander in the Wych Valley Goodbye Sidney RIP

We want your poems! Please email

Think Like A Man by JD Shapiro

I Don’t Like Your Kids (And Other Things I’m Afraid To Admit!) by Laura LeBrun A Perforation On The Toilet Roll Of Life by Eddie Smith Rooms Tonight! by Michael Ganley

Find these humorous books and many others at

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e’ve been delighted to receive so many letters over the past couple of months, so thank you for letting us know about the things that are important to you. We’re always touched when you share your stories and experiences with us, especially during times when communicating with each other is so important. We’ve only been able to print a few here, but please keep them coming and if you have the chance to include a picture then please do so. You can get in touch via email at

Music to our ears

I wanted to update your readers on a new local charity, Music MOB (Music Matters in Oswestry & the Borderlands). Music MOB is the brainchild of town councillor and business owner Mike Coppock, who is on the Committee for the Oswestry Youth Music Festival and noticed that the proportion of entries from children at local state schools was diminishing year on year. Visiting musicians (peripatetic teachers) were once a common sight in schools, but opportunities are no longer common. Mike and a group of like-minded people want to provide the funds to make this possible once again. The aim is to support free instrumental and vocal lessons for children whose families may not have the means to provide them. There will be no cost to schools or families. We hope the the scheme will begin in September 2020 and would like to ask any individuals or groups who have either string or woodwind instruments no longer needed or wanted to consider donating them. Sian Jones, Music Mike Coppock and Sue Turner MOB trustee

As always, we have a supply of previous issues that we’re happy to send out too – so let us know if you’ve missed an edition of Shire and we can pop it in the post to you. Just send us an SAE for £1.80, letting us know which issue you’re after, to Shire Magazine, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 1FR. An even safer bet is to subscribe to the magazine so you never miss a copy of Shire again! See page 91 for details on how to do this. Keep writing, keep emailing, keep reading and, most of all, keep safe and well.


Town topic

I write in response to your piece on Church Stretton in the March/ April edition Shire. Church Stretton is, of course, grateful for any promotion, since our local economy is heavily dependent on visitors. I appreciate the work that has gone into researching the history but I would gently point out that the nickname ‘Little Switzerland’ was only briefly used at the beginning of the 20th century. Longmynd Hotel is no longer a hotel but Longmynd House, because it has been taken over by the Holiday Fellowship, which uses the house exclusively for its own customers. Apart from one small guesthouse, all our hotels have been converted into care homes but we have an increasing range of B&B accommodation, self-catering accommodation and Airbnbs. In addition to our weekly Thursday market, the town has a thriving and diverse range of cultural events for residents and visitors, the long-established Arts Festival, live streaming of National Theatre productions, films, concerts and amateur dramatics, and a burgeoning night life, with ambitions to increase the cultural offer still further. Cllr Bob Welch, Mayor of Church Stretton

A fine feast I just wanted to get in touch to thank Shire for the brilliant prize we won in your recent competition. My partner and I had the pleasure of enjoying a three-course meal at the Three Eagles Bar & Restaurant in Llangollen. The ambience, decor, welcome, staff and food were all second-to-none! We thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and it was well worth the journey from Shrewsbury. We received a very warm welcome from our waiter, Donovan, and also had a long chat with Amy the manager. We won’t hesitate in recommending this amazing restaurant to family and friends, and we plan to return for my birthday celebration. Thank you once again. Marie Barber

I absolutely love Shire magazine, as does my mum and my partner’s parents. I’ve had subscriptions myself as presents and I have purchased them as presents for others. Best wishes and stay safe everyone at Shire magazine! Charlotte Fergusson Thank you so much to Shire magazine for my recent competition win of theatre tickets. It was a wonderful show – fantastic acts by talented people. A wonderful prize and an afternoon to remember. Thank you! Ann Wakelam What a great read to keep our minds busy and families active. Keep it up, Shire magazine. Anon I look forward to collecting Shire magazine on a regular basis – my only concern is that it is disappearing from the shop faster and faster, so sometimes I do not get a copy. Ken Stanforth, Ruthin Don’t worry, Ken – we can always send you a copy of any misssed issues. Or even better, why not set up a subscription? See the box at the top of the page for details.

Lovely meals at the Three Eagles

Vegan advice

Looking for willing volunteers

I felt your article about vegan diets was somewhat misleading when you stated it is harder to consume sufficient quantities of vitamin A without eating animal products. The Vegan Society states: ‘Our bodies turn carotenoids from plant foods into vitamin A’ and goes on to list example sources of carotenoids as ‘sweet potato, butternut squash, carrot or spinach. Dried apricots, kale, cantaloupe melon and spring greens also provide good amounts of carotenoids.’ Since you quoted the Vegan Society in your article, I’m surprised you missed these facts. Rachel Cherrington

I was wondering if any of your readers would be interested in lending a hand to The Griffin Trust, a charity based at Hooton Park Airfield on the Wirral, which is looking for volunteers to help on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The trust has restored and maintains the Motor Transport building at the former RAF WWI airfield, while also looking after a collection of historic and vintage commercial vehicles. It would appreciate anybody who could help with general maintenance of the buildings and exhibits, or look after the lunch-time breaks and general cleaning. For details, email or call 0151 327 4701 or 07745 873491. Christine Thomas, The Griffin Trust

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FUNDRAISING IS A BIT UP AND DOWN A butcher is helping vulnerable children by climbing Snowdon every week for a year

Paul Hollingsworth raised the funds in memory of a young woman who died from a rare condition



aul, 54, originally aimed to raise £4,000 for the charity Ataxia UK when he took part in the Chester Marathon – but he raised more than double that. Paul ran the race in memory of Scarlett Salisbury, the daughter of his friend Jeremy. Scarlett died in March 2019, just days after her 21st birthday. Aged eight, she was diagnosed with Friedreich’s ataxia, a form of neurological disorder affecting coordination and speech. At the points where

Paul and Jeremy

Paul at the finish line

I found it hard, I only had to think of Scarlett and what her family are going through,’ father of four Paul, the managing director of Hollingsworth Group in Sandycroft, says. ‘I am proud of the amount of money raised and touched by the generosity of the sponsors.’ Paul’s GoFundMe page is still open for donations. Go to and search ‘Paul Hollingsworth Ataxia’.

DOUBLE THE CHALLENGE A physiotherapist is taking part in world’s highest marathon – for the second time


ompleting a marathon The world’s highest marathon will be on many people’s bucket list. But few will aim to finish the Everest Marathon twice in their lifetime. This is the case for Rob Fox, a physiotherapist at the Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, who is taking on the race – known as the world’s highest marathon –

TRUCKER DELIVERING KINDNESS A kind-hearted truck driver who has fed the homeless for four years now has some support


Emily Mooney of Hadlow Edwards att Pyne, 42, has with Matt Pyne been taking supplies to the homeless community in Queen’s Square, Wrexham, every Wednesday from 8pm – along with his partner Sian Bradley, cousins Hel Smart and Carrina Edwards, and volunteer Matty Edwards. ‘We take out 30 hot meals and 30 snack bags every

nce Llyr Williams, 32, has completed his 52-week challenge in aid of Action for Children, he’ll have climbed the equivalent of Everest five times. ‘I go walking every week anyway,’ says Llyr, ‘and having just achieved my personal best time walking up Snowdon of 87 Trekking butcher Llyr minutes, I thought there must be a way of doing this and young people by for charity and making providing practical ‘Llyr will it a proper challenge.’ and emotional care. climb the Last year, the charity Llyr, who lives in equivalent helped more than Llannor near Pwllheli, of Everest 387,000 children and works as a butcher at five times’ families across the UK. Harlech Foodservice, To support Llyr and which has named Action donate to Action For Children for Children as its chosen visit charity for 2020. It protects and fundraising/harlech-foods. supports vulnerable children

for the second time. He first took part in the marathon back in 2012 and will be competing for the second time this May to raise money for the Veteran’s Orthopaedic Service and Mind UK. The Veterans’ Orthopaedic Service at the Oswestry hospital works with veterans who require treatment for arthritic lower limb problems. Rob and other fundraisers will be supporting the purchase of state-ofthe-art equipment and facilities, which provide extra comfort to patients and support staff in delivering world-class patient care. Mind UK provides advice and support to anyone who is experiencing a mental health problem and campaign to improve mental health services, raise awareness and promote understanding. To support Rob’s fundraising, visit www. Rob finishes in 2012 week,’ Matt says. ‘I have various cooks around Flintshire who help make the meals and put the bags together. Any leftover food is given away to the local night shelter so it doesn’t go to waste.’ After hearing about his selfless work from a client, Wrexhambased Hadlow Edwards Wealth Management was keen to support his efforts and started collecting items such as sleeping bags and insulated roll mats as well as food for Matt, who insists he won’t take money – ‘I give out a shopping list instead!’ ‘We help between 20 and 30 people every week,’ says Matt. ‘Their backgrounds vary. A lot have addiction or mental health problems. I’ve put a takeaway carton in an exsolicitor’s hands before. He lost his wife and kids and ended up homeless. I always say you’re only a couple of pay cheques or a couple of bad decisions away from being there.’ If you would like to help Matt’s work with the homeless, you can find him on Facebook – search for ‘Matt Pyne Wrexham’.

If you would like a charity event to feature on these pages, just email the details to May/June 2020 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 95

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What’s in your stars? Aries

20th March – 20th April May marks the beginning of the Celtic year with the appearance of hawthorn blossom, while the red, yellow, white, green and blue ribbons around the maypole symbolise the union of earth and sky. Uranus moving through Taurus, highlighting security in your solar chart, suggests you should review the union between lifestyle and finances to avoid dancing on hot coals!


21st June – 23rd July Your significant other may be hoping for unlimited great expectations but needs you there with a dustpan and brush to pick up the pieces when some of them fail to come to fruition. Life can play cat and mouse with possibilities, but disappointment is just a term for refusing to look on the bright side. This may need to be said!


23rd September – 22nd October Research has found that it’s mostly women who read horoscopes, and for you an older individual will be noticeable for the ideas they generate in your life this spring. For males it will be younger energy that floats your boat, probably romantic but contrary. Females will find more order in their world and males disorder – both will be unique.


21st December – 20th January Are you going to strawberry fair? Well, are you? You could take a short cut and stop to smell the roses for once. Or you could take the long way up the steep hill. The choice is yours – so don’t do your usual slog to get to a place that will bring you cheer. Make it easy on yourself.


20th April – 21st May It’s the time of year when you’re feeling your best – bring born during spring had an effect that is carried within your core. House ownership is important, and with this new season you’ll be wanting to change something: a colour scheme or garden landscape Not a house owner? You’ll be trying to change that dynamic and will likely succeed!


23rd July – 23rd August Patience is required for a phase when things don’t go your way. It may feel as if a shadow has appeared across the sun, and symbolically it has. The great Egyptian sun god Ra was believed to be reborn every morning – and at present, you should look at your life in the same way: there’s a new beginning with each day that dawns.


23rd October – 22nd November Most of us have experienced longing – usually for something we cannot have. Perhaps we should remember what happened to Faust, whose longing brought about his destruction. He was probably a Scorpio, for no other sign’s passions run so deep. Hopefully you’re curbing yours; in so doing, May’s full moon will end a nightmare that started out as a dream.


20th January – 19th February Summer solstice coincides with the great conjunction of Jupiter and Pluto in Capricorn in a zone of your solar chart where, like a volcano, what has been simmering beneath the surface will soon break free. Unlike a volcano, however, it isn’t harmful – it will empower you. It’s up to you to find an area of your life where this potent energy is best spent.


21st May – 21st June Taking responsibility is an issue for you now – don’t act like Jonah did towards the inhabitants of Nineveh or adopt the attitude of Cain (‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’). These were their ways of copping out. You have a task to undertake; part of you recognises it and another part doesn’t want to. Give in to your better nature – it usually wins!


23rd August – 23rd September Your opposite sign, Pisces, is enlivened by assertive Mars; according to the Hermetic principle of ‘as above, so below’, this means another’s desires and wishes aren’t cutting the mustard with you because they conflict with your own. But don’t cast them aside – an opportunity exists for a creative working relationship, marrying imagination with practicality.


22nd November – 21st December Your journey through life is looked at as upwardly mobile, following the flight of the archer’s arrow, but sometimes it is wise to look back to see where the arrow falls! Has it missed its aim or struck a bullseye? Your solar chart shows that a past action has created gratitude and someone is honouring a debt. Good karma, Sagittarius!


19th February – 20th March Although it’s commonly believed the planets orbit around the Sun, our entire solar system moves through space at about two million kilometres a day. This is too vast to contemplate, so how about something a little less mindblowing – such as Mars moving through your sign for much of May and June, giving you space to speed up a plan.

Gloria Mans studied astrology and astronomy over an intensive two-year period at the Faculty of Astrological Studies in London 27 years ago. She has since written for many publications, appeared numerous times on television and has an impressive client list. The legendary Fay Weldon calls her ‘magic’ and BBC icon Valerie Singleton calls her ‘sensitive’. You can reach her at or via her website, 96 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2020

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You have to be in it to win it, so enter today!

BRIMMING WITH BENEFITS There are great reasons to have a subscription to Shire, whether you pay for it or are lucky enough to win one! They include: • No need to leave the house Great if you’re less able, vulnerable or need to self-isolate for longer. • Never miss a copy You’re guaranteed to get your hands on every edition – and they disappear quickly from the shops these days! • Be the early bird Subscribers are among the first to receive every issue, allowing you to check out upcoming events and enter competitions.

Difficult times call for different approaches, so in this edition of Shire you can still win – but we’re changing the focus of our competition prizes…


e can’t give away tickets to shows or events while most of the venues we work with are having to rearrange and reschedule their listings – so this issue we have a special treat for Shire readers instead. To celebrate the fact that we’re sticking around, offering our packed pages to guide and support you in good times and bad, we’re giving away five annual subscriptions to the magazine! Each 12-month subscription is worth £19.95 and means you’ll get Shire delivered to the comfort of your own home every other month. It’s a great prize for any avid reader of Shire – or you can give the subscription to a friend or family member so they can keep up to date with all the latest goings-on. It’s completely up to you!


Shire is always packed with information, and will continue to keep you up to date with all the events and activities going on across north and mid Wales, Cheshire, Shropshire and Wirral. Every issue crams in tons of great content, and the mixture of current affairs, lifestyle features, style advice and expert contributors means there’s always something for everyone. To be in with a chance of winning one of the five subscriptions on offer, fill in the form below and send it in to us at the address printed on it by 13th June. Good luck!


f you entered any of the competitions from our previous edition, don’t worry – we have your entries here in the Shire office. Once our competition partners are back up and running with new dates and times for the brilliant prizes that were on offer, we’ll draw the winners and be in touch!

HOW TO ENTER Fill in the form, including your name, address, email and daytime contact number. Send it by 13th June 2020 to:

Name Address

Competitions, Shire magazine, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 1FR RULES OF THE COMPETITIONS The promoter of these competitions is Shire magazine, Superstar Publishing, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 1FR. The competitions are open to all readers of our magazine and viewers of our websites except employees of the prize providers. The winner(s) will be the first person or persons drawn after the closing date who has completed the correct answer. No cash alternative is available. The winners’ names can be obtained by writing to the competition address with a self-addressed envelope after the closing date. The winner agrees to participate in any follow-up publicity and must provide a photograph to be published in the following issue to claim their prize. Superstar Publishing may print the name only of entrants to this competition in subsequent issue(s) of Shire magazine. This is to enable competition entrants to fairly claim a promotional offer, for competition entrants only. By entering this competition you are giving permission for Shire magazine to print your name only. No personal information will be printed. No purchase necessary, answers on a postcard are accepted. For full details of our Privacy Policy, please go to DATA PROTECTION NOTICE Superstar Publishing Ltd will use your information for administration and analysis purposes and may contact you from time to time with relevant offers, information or for research purposes. Your details will not be passed on to third parties except the sponsors of these competitions. Please tick the relevant box if you wish to be contacted.

Postcode Daytime contact number Email (please complete) Please send me further information about Shire

May/June 2020 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 97

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It’s hard to make predictions for the next few months, but one thing is for certain – there’ll be another edition of Shire heading your way before you know it! With a bit of luck, we’ll be feeling slightly less restricted and more able to enjoy our area as the summer sun arrives. So don’t miss your July/August issue and let’s make sure we all make the most of our wonderful patch for the season… G R E AT G E TAWAY S

More than ever, people will be ready for a break this summer! We take an in-depth look at the places to go, things to see, activities to try and areas to visit in and around the Shire region. Many local hospitality businesses have suffered over the past few months, so once we’re allowed to get back out and support them, it’s the least we can do!

PLANNING AHEAD Whether you have recently retired, are seriously considering the possibility or are simply dreaming of the distant day when you can bid the nineto-five goodbye for good, we take a look at how to make the most of the newfound freedom retirement can bring.

LOOKING GOOD AND FEELING GREAT Just because you haven’t seen other people for a while, that doesn’t mean you should forget your style and fashion sense! Our experts will make sure you’re looking and feeling your very best – ready to get out and impress this summer.

FANTASTIC GARDENING ADVICE It’s where we all love spending lots of time, especially over the summer. Whether you’re looking for advice on the best bedding plants, want to know what to sow for next spring or need inspiration on accessories, Shire has it all, as well as a round-up of public gardens well worth a visit.

SHOW REVIEWS The dedicated and hard-working Shire team will do their best to bring you the latest reports on the region’s events.

SUMMER SENSATIONS Warmer weather brings plenty of opportunities to sample all the seasonal favourites, and our food and drink section will be packed as always. Pick a recipe you can enjoy al fresco, find a wine to refresh yourself on a hot day, and discover the local producers who can keep you stocked with delicious treats throughout the sunny months. T I M E T O C R E AT E

During lockdown, many people have taken the opportunity to try something new and creative. Our busy arts section is a great read for anyone who has discovered a new skill – there’ll be inspiration aplenty including interviews with local artists, suggestions of exhibitions and crafts to try, new books to read and authors to meet, as well as all your contributions for our poetry and photography sections.

D O N ’ T F O R G E T…

Our What’s On guide for July and August will include a preview of all the events and activities that are going on across the region, whether online or onsite. We are hoping by then that live events will be safely possible, and our writers are working hard to find family fun for the summer holidays.

GET IN TOUCH Shire wants to hear from you! 1. Tell us about your upcoming events We work in advance, so 1st June is the deadline to let us know about events for our July/August 2020 issue. 2. Share your reader stories Have you got an extraordinary or exciting story to tell? We would love to share it with our readers. Send us an email and don’t forget to include a picture or two! 3. Contribute to one of our pages Send all your submissions and pictures by email to or call 01691 661270. You can also get in touch via social media – just search for ‘Shire Magazine’ on Facebook or Instagram.

98 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2020

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rydan ni yma gyda chi.

Ffurfio eich llwybr eich hun ym Mhrifysgol Glyndwr Wrecsam.

we’re with you.

Forge your own path at Wrexham Glyndwr University.

Darganfod mwy • Discover more


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Shop online at SOFAS | CHAIRS | DINING | BEDS | BEDROOMS | FLOORING | RUGS | CURTAINS | HOMEWARES *H&H Retail Limited, Grange House, Lancaster Road, SY1 3JF. Company registration number 03349998 trading as Alan Ward are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. We are a credit broker not a lender - credit is subject to status and affordability, and is provided by Hitatchi Capital (UK) PLC. Terms & conditions apply.

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Profile for Superstar Publishing

Shire Magazine May-June 2020  

North Wales, Mid Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire, Wirral, Whats on, magazine, days out, events, restaurants, reviews, homes, gardens, arts, craf...

Shire Magazine May-June 2020  

North Wales, Mid Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire, Wirral, Whats on, magazine, days out, events, restaurants, reviews, homes, gardens, arts, craf...

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